KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) received a complaint seeking probe to ascertain link of Habibullah Khan with Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) / DP World in parking billions of rupees black money. Habibullah Khan, the alleged mastermind of Panama-like offshore companies having questionable financial backing controlling one of the strategic assets of Pakistan in the shape of QICT is a security threat to our nation. QICT controls major container traffic in and out of Pakistan and cannot be given to discreet hands.
Sources said Habibullah owned British Virgin Islands-based companies including Vision Holding Middle East Limited (VHMEL) through which he bought 47% shares of Pioneer Cement Limited. He also tried to buy Meezan Bank in 2013 through his other Panama-like offshore company Vision Financial Holding Limited (VFHL) but the State Bank of Pakistan questioned the potential buyer’s obscure identity as source of wealth of the company was not clear to the SBP. VFHL’s source of income and funding was not clear to the SBP so the central bank stopped its transaction to buy Meezan Bank. The role of Habibullah’s dubious offshore company VFHL must be ascertained as he uses these companies to buy major stakes in Pakistani companies.
Vision Holdings Middle East Limited was incorporated in 2005 and is based in the British Virgin Islands. After July 26, 2010, Vision Holdings Middle East Limited operates as a subsidiary of Vision No 1. Ltd.
According to a Business Insider’s report, BVI Business Companies do not have an obligation to prepare or file financial accounts. BVI’s commitment to zero tax and levels of secrecy encourage financial crimes and allows corporations and individuals to evade tax.
Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International, told Business Insider, “The secrecy offered by the British Virgin Islands allows corrupt individuals who steal public funds to hide them around the world. More than half of the companies uncovered by the Panama Papers leak were registered in the BVI.”
A local newspaper reported that Habibullah Khan recently declared liquid assets of $1.25 billion outside of Pakistan in the single largest Amnesty declaration in the South Asian country. He is the Founder and Chairman of Mega Conglomerate – Mega & Forbes Group of Companies (Mega Group – MFG). Forbes Group includes Forbes Shipping Company (Pvt) Ltd, Inservey Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Inshipping (Pvt) Ltd. Mega Impex Pakistan (Private) Ltd (hereafter referred to as MIP) was incorporated in May 1989. MIP is an integral part of the Mega & Forbes group of companies and the group is believed to be wholly-owned by Habibullah Khan. Imperial Developers and Builders Pvt. Ltd., a 100% owned holding of Mega Conglomerate, constructed a 30 storey LEED certified commercial building in Karachi.
Pioneer Cement Ltd is an affiliate of Mega group. The group led by Habibullah Khan owns 47% shares of Pioneer Cement through Vision Holding Middle East Limited. Besides showing interest in acquiring Dewan Cement, Khan has recently acquired a significant stake in Hubco from Dawood Hercules and become its chairman.
According to data available online, VMFG (Pvt) Ltd has two subsidiaries Haleeb Foods (Pvt) Ltd and Dynasel (Pvt) Ltd. Dynasel (Pvt) Limited engages in assembling and selling televisions and DVDs/LCDs. The company was incorporated in 1989 and is based in Lahore, Pakistan. As of August 4, 2010, Dynasel (Pvt) Limited operates as a subsidiary of VMFG (Private) Limited. VMFG (Pvt) Ltd acquired a significant shareholding in Haleeb Foods Limited in 2009. VMFG (Pvt) Ltd became the majority shareholder in Haleeb Foods Limited in 2012. HFL improved its profitability, focused on innovation and launched some new brands while revamping the old ones.
The newspaper quoted Habibullah as boasting, “By 2000, we bought Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), where the DP World is our partner today. We used to control 42 percent of anything that came in and out of this country in containers,” he says. While surprisingly QICT hides this partnership of Habibullah Khan on its website to show that QICT is fully owned by DP World. This hide and seek between the trio Habibullah, QICT and DP World smells fish which needs to be uncovered by the investigators at NAB. Habibullah accepted in an interview that he is the owner of QICT and DP World is their partner then question arises that why he is hiding his name from ownership of QICT on their official website, possibly to save himself from criminal activities of management and staff of the terminal, sources said.
Sources said Mrs. Nusrat Khan, wife of Habibullah Khan, is Director of QICT Pvt Ltd and she is also the Executive Director of Mega Conglomerate (Pvt) Ltd. of which Habibullah Khan is the chairman. Similarly, Aly Khan, son of Habibullah, is a director of QICT Pvt. Ltd. and also director of Haleeb Foods Limited and Pioneer Cement Limited both of which are led by Habibullah Khan. At first sight, when we look at the executives of QICT then we do not understand their link with Habibullah which he himself boasts to get credit in media. But a careful perusal at the list of executives of the other companies led by Habibullah like Mega Conglomerate, Haleeb Foods Limited and Pioneer Cement Limited reveals the triangle linking between these persons and entities clearly with QICT where juniors of Habibullah in these companies are controlling management of QICT. Both of these officials’ role seems to be suspicious as both have big posts in different companies under Habibullah while also at QICT. The complaint received by NAB had to look into the role of Habibullah in QICT where hundreds of billions are being looted from importers through blackmailing and cheating. This probe could expose how Habibullah succeeded to make huge amounts of black money through his companies and turned into a successful businessman from a small business in a short span of time.
A report said, unlike other businessmen in Pakistan, he almost never sits on boards of the companies he owns (their number runs in dozens) and he prefers to let management, independent members and his son take the lead on boards. Following list of companies and staff reveals that Habibullah, his wife Nusrat Khan and their son Aly Khan are included in management staff of most of their companies but Habibullah tried to hide his name from QICT and VFMG management. This secrecy creates doubts about role of Habibullah in affairs of QICT / DP World and also about the foreign hands behind Habibullah who pull strings.
Following companies are led by Habibullah Khan and Nusrat Khan: Mega Conglomerate (Pvt.) Limited and G4 Mega Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, Mega Impex Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, Forbes Shipping Company (Pvt.) Limited, Inservey Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited and Inshipping (Pvt.) Limited. Habibullah hides his name from management of QICT and VFMG, for this purpose, look into the management & staff members of the following companies:
Haleeb Foods Limited:
Ilyas M. Chaudhry, Irfan Mustafa, Javed Abdul Ghani, Mian Amir Mehmood, Mian Mohammad Amjad, Mian Yasir Mehmood, Mohammad Imran Amjad, Mohammad Ishaque Khan, Nasrin Ilyas, Sana Yasir, Sobia Saqib, Pervez Ahmed Khan, Saqib Ali and Suleman Daud
Pioneer Cement Limited:
Jamal Nasim, Mirza Ali Hassan Askari, Aleeya Khan, Aly Khan, Mohammad Aftab Alam, Shafiuddin Ghani Khan and Rafique Dawood
QICT Pakistan Limited:
Aly Khan, Anil Wats, Changaz Hassan Niazi, Farhan Mithani, Junaid Zamir, Masoud Noori, Mohammad Al Mannaei, Nusrat Khan and Omar Al Muhairi
“The highest amounts whitened under amnesty scheme 2018 in Pakistan history is by owners of these terminals and shipping lines. According to reports, attached as samples only, these amounts run in to hundreds of billions of rupees. In fact, one single declaration out of these under the amnesty 2018, as reported in Pakistan Today, is a whopping USD 1.25 billion. Now, when they (the shipping lines) collect a meager USD 300 white amount on a cost of USD 1,000 and also USD 0 on a cost of USD 1,000 then it is alarming that how did they collect such hundreds of Billions of rupees to declare. It is obvious that they collected all this money through their criminal activities of blackmailing and threatening importers while carrying out criminal breach of trust by not returning goods of importers while carrying criminal conspiracy,” the complaint said.
The complaint said the amnesty scheme announced through an Ordinance on April 10, 2018 does not provide amnesty to declarations of assets that are procured through criminal means as read in Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Act, 2018 under section 4 (2): “The provisions of this Act shall not apply to any proceeds or assets that are involved in or derived from the commission of a criminal offence”.
Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) received a complaint seeking probe to ascertain role of 65 employees of QICT / DP World and Maersk in country’s biggest shipping scandal involving 610 billion rupees.
The complaint received by the NAB demanded legal action for recoveries of amounts looted and recovering losses of Rs. 610 billion to the national exchequer per year while also stopping such further losses from the accused persons of these companies including Søren Skou, Claus V. Hemmingsen, Søren Toft, Vincent Clercp, Morten H. Engelstoft, others of Maersk Line; Arslan Khan, Hazanfar Khan, Raheel Salim, Maqsood Ul Hasan Khan, Fuad Khan, Hasan Faraz, Shakeel Masih, Omer Khan, Ali Jawad Alvi, Zafar Iqbal, Ayesha Chowdhry, Zahid Hussain, Salman Ahmad, Aamir Ali, Umais Aziz Khan, Mohammed Naeem, Farheen Mahmud, Mubasshar Iqbal, Affaq Syed, Syed Mohammad Abbas Jafri, Muhammad Tanveer Sharif, Salman Ateeq, Hamza Haq, Ziad Mahboob, Aamir Ibrahim, Yasir Saeed Khan, Amal Sadiq Dawood, Effat Mehmood, Maria Urooj, Zain Warsi, Mehreen Zulfiqar, Awais Saleem, Zafar Iqbal, Syed Osman Iqbal Zaidi, Anum Yaqub, Fahad Ali, Obaid Iqbal, Zahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Danish Siddiqui, Amir Arif, Arshad Ayub, Syed Mudassir Ali, Syed Hammad Hussain, Ayesha Qadri, Sheikh Samiullah, others of M/S Maersk Pakistan Private Limited; Habibullah Khan, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Yuvraj Narayan, Deepak Parekh Robert Woods, Abdulla Ghobash, Mark Russell, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Nadya Abdulla Kamali, Mohammed Al Muallem, Suhail Al Banna, Rizwan Soomar, Rashid Abdulla, Mohammad Al Hashimy, Junaid Zamir and others of DP World/ QICT Ltd.
As per the complaint received by the NAB, the nexus of some Customs staff, port terminals like QICT along with its parent company DP World, Port Qasim and shipping lines like Maersk Line along with its agent Maersk Pakistan Private Limited, including its owners, managers & staff are making illegal money through malpractice.