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Gourmet Bakers that own GNN TV comes under FIA radar for tax frauds and money laundering charges

GNN TV Gourmet Bakers tax fraud and money laundering charges

By Raza Ruman

As the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has detected Rs110 billion earning by 10 major groups of sugar mafia during the last one year through ‘speculative pricing’ Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt LAHORE which has GNN TV emerged a major player in this scam.

No TV channel dared to run the FIA FIR against Gourmet Bakers & Sweets.

What a shame for our media. It has to do so because Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt has its own TV channel to protect it’s tax frauds.

FIA anti-corruption circle registered has FIR this week against e Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd, Lahore and other 10 sugar groups under sections 420, 468, 471 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 of Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.

The FIR says during the course of inquiry against the sugar mafia, “it has transpired that sugar industry barons, sugar-brokers & their satta-agents (speculative pricing players), in active connivance with sugar-mills, have transformed into a clandestine sugar satta-mafia and are operating in a collusive but secret-mode, especially through electronic means/ WhatsApp groups to dishonestly and fraudulently maneuver, manipulate and artificially hike sugar prices, amidst hoax of impending sugar-stocks shortages (while sugar-stocks are lying ‘unsold’ or ‘sold/un-lifted’ in mills & godowns and demand-supply gap is artificial)”.

The inquiry reveals “the satta-mafia had already fraudulently ramped-up the (speculative) ex-mill price by Rs20/kg in last one year (from Rs70/kg on Feb 11, 2020 to Rs90 per kg on March 21, 2021; they are now conspiring to pump it upwards of Rs110 per kg in Ramzan.”

During the inquiry it was revealed that “even the leading registered businesses in the country, like Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore, are being facilitated by satta-mafia agents (speculative pricing manipulators) to commit huge accounting & tax-frauds in a very organized manner by concealing their actual sugar consumption & consequently business turnover.”

The FIR says Malik Abad Ali (speculative pricing player) was intercepted and interrogated. “Digital evidence (two smartphones & one HDD), one ledger pertaining to satta (speculatively pricing) and 45 miscellaneous ledgers were taken into custody through seizure memo. Review of manual ledgers and communication on digital media (cyber forensic-analysis to retrieve any deleted data is underway) seized from Malik Abad Ali revealed that innumerable secret WhatsApp Satta Groups were being operated by the Satta Mafia. Examination of seized digital media (cyber forensic-analysis underway), ledgers and on-spot interrogation of Malik Abad Ali (key satta-player) during search & seizure also revealed clearly that he was one of the main satta players actively involved in sugar satta, in connivance with and on behalf of various sugar-industry barons and others. He also works in active connivance with JDW Sugar Group but also works for Ashraf, Sheikhoo and other sugar-mills. He operates in WhatsApp Satta Groups through front-men/ other satta-agents Sajid Ali s/o Maqbool Hussain and Asad Pervaiz Butt s/o Khalid Pervaiz Butt.”

FIA FIR against Gourmet Bakers & Sweets

During the of Inquiry No. 134/2020 FIA ACC Lahore dated: 07-08-2020 (Criminal Inquiry against Sugar Mafia) it has transpired that sugar industry barons, sugar-brokers & their satta-agents, in active connivance with sugar-mills, have transformed into a clandestine sugar satta mafia (hereinafter called “Satta Mafia”) and are operating in a collusive but secret-mode, especially through electronic means/ WhatsApp Groups to dishonestly and fraudulently maneuver, manipulate and artificially hike sugar prices, amidst hoax of impending sugar-stocks shortages (while sugar-stocks are lying ‘unsold’ or ‘sold/un-lifted’ in mills & godowns and demand-supply gap is artificial).
Inquiry has determined that Pakistanis consume at-least 5.5 Billion KGs of sugar, an essential household commodity, annually; however, the population’s poorest quintile (lowest 20%) spends highest portion (5%) of their incomes on sugar (Household Integrated Economic Survey 2019 by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics). Hence, through only a Rs. 1 fraudulent (speculative) hike, Satta Mafia pockets a windfall at-least Rs. 5.5 Billion illicit financial gain by swindling mainly the poor masses. The intelligence available with FIA’s Inquiry Team further revealed that Satta Mafia, had already fraudulently ramped-up the (speculative) ex-mill price by Rs. 20/KG in last one year (from Rs. 70/KG on 11th February 2020 to Rs. 90 per KG on 21st March 2021; they are now conspiring to pump it upwards of Rs. 110 per KG in Ramzan-ul-Mubarak – the holy month hallmarked with piety and righteousness (Al-Quran 2:183).
Pursuant to the aforementioned enquiry, a search and seizure operation, assisted by local Police was initiated by FIA on 21st March 2021, against the main agents of Satta Mafia, with a view to seize any digital evidence & secret-ledgers/ record pertaining to sugar satta. Malik Abad Ali was intercepted/ interrogated pursuant to the said operation and digital evidence (02 smartphones & 1 HDD), 1 ledger pertaining to Satta (speculatively priced) and 45 miscellaneous ledgers were taken into custody through seizure memo. Review of manual ledgers and communication on digital media (cyber forensic-analysis to retrieve any deleted data is underway) seized from Malik Abad Ali revealed that innumerable secret WhatsApp Satta Groups were being operated by the Satta Mafia. Examination of seized digital media (cyber forensic-analysis underway), ledgers and on-spot interrogation of Malik Abad Ali (key satta-player) during search & seizure also revealed clearly that he was one of the main satta players actively involved in sugar satta, in connivance with and on behalf of various sugar-industry barons and others. He also works in active connivance with JDW Sugar Group but also works for Ashraf, Sheikhoo and other sugar-mills. He operates in WhatsApp Satta Groups through front-men/ other satta-agents Sajid Ali s/o Maqbool Hussain and Asad Pervaiz Butt s/o Khalid Pervaiz Butt.
The ledgers pertaining to satta being maintained manually by Malik Abad Ali (Malik Abad Ullah) reveal that he is operating an organized satta network. The evidence is clearly indicative of the fact that Malik Abad Ali in connivance with the Sugar Mills management is engaged in speculative price-hike and satta of Sugar. A preponderance of evidence unearthed during inquiry shows that aforenamed brokers/ satta-players are booking Forward sales in connivance with Sugar Mills at various (speculative) prices which are at variance with each other and reflect the satta-bidding pattern. Analysis further revealed that at present the (speculative) price of the forward sales is escalating at an average Rs. 0.50 per kg per 5 days. As an instance, on various Forward sales on 1st March, 2021, Abad Ali broker booked it at different rates. He booked 2400 bags @ Rs. 9050 per 100 KG Bag (Rs. 90.5/ KG) for 10th March; same day he booked 2400 bags @ Rs. 9100 per 100 KG Bag (Rs. 91/ KG) for 15th March and then on the same day (1st March) he booked another forward purchase of 2400 bags @ Rs. 9150 per 100 KG Bag (Rs. 91.5/ KG) for 20th March. This pattern of trading of stocks was observed with respect to various top Sugar (Industry) Groups including, but not limited to JDW Group, Al-Moiz (Thal Industries) Group, Hamza Sugar Group, Ashraf, Sheikoo Sugar Mills and other mills.
Evidence transpired during analysis of the digital-media and secret-ledgers further revealed that the Satta Mafia, in addition to their regular personal or business accounts, were also using fake or unrelated 3rd party accounts to conceal/ disguise the illicit payments and gains from sugar-satta. Additional accounts unearthed during a review of communication logs include:
i. A/C No. 1139-0104607936 Meezan Bank Titled Saqib Umer recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
ii. A/C No. 270199525 UBL Titled Al-Wali Builders recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
iii. A/C No. 2488-7000372303 HBL Titled Al-Wali Builders recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
iv. A/C No. 0102200575 Meezan Bank Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
v. A/C No. 0651425271007826 MCB Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
vi. A/C No. 1102008100312800 Bank Al-Habib Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
vii. A/C No. 0021650511701 Askari Bank Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
viii. A/C No. 000500100391991 Bank Alfalah Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
ix. A/C No. 001036253540010 Allied Bank Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
x. A/C No. 00215330879 UBL Titled Agro Trade Pvt Ltd recovered from WhatsApp Logs of Malik Abad Ali Broker
The number of irrelevant 3rd party accounts/ benami accounts used for disguising the crime proceeds of illicit & fraudulent satta (through fraudulent banking & fraudulent accounting) is likely to run into thousands. Full spectrum of these fake/ irrelevant 3rd party accounts will be unearthed during course of investigation.
Another appalling but cognizable detection during this inquiry is that even the leading registered businesses in the country, like Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore, are being facilitated by Satta Mafia agents to commit huge accounting & tax-frauds in a very organized manner by concealing their actual sugar consumption & consequently business turnover. It has been discovered that one M. Taha Butt (CNIC 35202-7024006-3) – a trusted cash-rider of Malik Abad Ali Broker-cum-satta player and other cash-riders regularly collect cash from the office of Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore and make direct online cash-deposits into accounts of JDW & various other sugar-mills as provided by Malik Abad Ali, against their own names. The name of Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore is not reflected anywhere in these payments. Malik Abad Ali, then gets the sugar delivered to Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore (off-the-books) against these payments. Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt Ltd Lahore (and JDW Group) are thereby continuously committing huge accounting-frauds (fraudulent book-keeping & bogus bank transactions) & tax-frauds. This is culpable u/s 420/468/471 PPC (fraudulent book-keeping & bogus bank transactions) r/w sections 3/4 Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.
In view of the foregoing, a case u/s 420/468/471 & 109 PPC r/w sections 3/ 4 Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 is recommended against Malik Abad Ali (Malik Abad Ullah) CNIC 35201-9640565-1 R/O 260-Y, DHA Phase-III Lahore, Office 37-K (Commercial) DHA Phase-I, Sheikh Sajid Ali s/o Maqbool Hussain alias Dholanwalia (35202-4582336-9), Asad Pervaiz Butt s/o Khlaid Pervaiz Butt and Directors of Gourmet Bakers & Sweets Pvt. Ltd., along with any other facilitators (role to be determined during the course of investigation). As Malik Abad Ali has also been abetted and assisted by various Sugar Mill owners and other Sugar Mills officials, their role may be ascertained during the course of investigation.

The PTI governemnt claims to lay hand on the corrupt. It will be seen whether it nails Gourmet group or its officials get silenced after getting their due share. PAK DESTINY

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