Imran Khan’s PTI funded by foreign cricket company? | World News

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, built his political career during a crusade against corruption. But the former cricket captain now finds himself in the eye of a storm after allegations of dubious financing of his party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf surfaced through a cricket tournament, The Financial Times reported.

In early 2010, Khan was invited by Pakistani business magnate Arif Naqvi for a weekend to Wootton, a village in Oxfordshire, UK. The event was hosted by Abraaj Group, the fund management unit of Naqvi’s equity company. He later chaired Wootton T20 Cup, a competition between teams with quirky names like Peshawar Perverts and Faisalabad Fothermuckers. Experienced cricket commentator Henry Blofeld was in attendance along with expert umpires and film crews, the website reported.

Imran Khan told the website that he went to Wootton for a fundraiser which was also attended by many supporters of his party. He even took to the field and bowled at an event.

The guests were asked to pay between £2,000-2,500 to attend the event, which was alleged to be organized for ‘philanthropic causes’. However, the fees were paid to Wootton Cricket Limited, the company owned by Naqvi and incorporated in the Cayman Islands. The money was used to fund Khan’s party PTI. The company received funds from several companies and individuals, including a UAE minister and a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, who contributed £2 million.

By law, foreign citizens and companies are not allowed to fund political parties in Pakistan. However, internal documents consulted by the website reveal that millions of dollars were transferred to Imran Khan’s party from Wootton Cricket’s bank account between February 28 and May 30.

Pakistan’s polling panel has been investigating PTI’s funding for years. In January of this year, the Election Commission reported in a report that the then-ruling PTI was receiving money from foreigners and corporations and accused it of under-reporting funds and hiding dozens of bank accounts. Wootton Cricket was named in the report, but Naqvi was not identified as the owner.

According to the report, Wootton Cricket received $1.3 million from Abraaj Investment Management Ltd on March 14, 2013. The money was allegedly transferred to a PTI bank account in Pakistan on the same day.

In April of that year, Wootton Cricket received $2 million from the UAE minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, who is also the chairman of Pakistan Bank Alfalah.

The website accessed emails between Naqvi and a colleague about transferring $1.2 million to Khan’s party. Six days after receiving $2 million, Wootton transferred $1.2 million to Pakistan in two installments.


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