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FIA reopens money-laundering case against actress Sophia Mirza

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  • FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle in Karachi summoned actress.
  • FIA officer says legal proceedings will be started.
  • Original complaint of money-laundering was registered in Sept 2019.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has summoned actress and model Sophia Mirza regarding a previous money-laundering inquiry which was shut down.

The FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) in Karachi had asked the actress to appear in the provincial capital and answer questions about the money-laundering case but the actress didn’t turn up and the FIA has confirmed that it will be taking further action over Mirza’s non-appearance.

A letter sent by FIA’s Karachi Circuit had asked the actress to appear before the investigation team to answer questions about FIR No. 53/2022 “registered at this circle under the provision of Anti Money Laundering Act 2010”.

“During the course of the investigation, it has transpired that you have made sale/purchase transactions with the accused person for providing him foreign currencies without any slip/receipt and it appears that you are well acquainted with a crime,” the notice read.

The FIA Karachi said Mirza, whose real name is Khushbakht Mirza, was asked to appear before the FIA with her original CNIC and was directed to bring a full record covering the period from 2019 to date to clarify her position.

She was also asked to bring with her Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) record including return wealth record, sales tax records, bank details, and details of properties which are owned by her or her dependent.

An FIA officer said the actress has ignored the letter, adding that legal proceedings will be started. Mirza didn’t respond to questions about the money-laundering investigation but a source close to her said she will contest it.

The original complaint of money laundering was registered against Mirza in September 2019 after which, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been directed to launch a probe into the matter.

The Lahore-based former model is not new to controversies. In April 2018, she was acquitted in a fraud case due to insufficient evidence.

In September 2017, Judicial Magistrate of District Court Ahsan Raza issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Mirza allegedly involved in a fraud case.

The complainant, Shaikh Nasir, got a case registered at the Samanabad Police Station against Sofia Mirza, her brother Khurram Shehzad and others under sections 468/471, 419/420 of PPC. 

He contended in the FIR that Mirza in connivance with her brother sold him a car LZM-5766. After purchasing the car, he sold it to another person. After that Mirza got registered a car theft case against him. When the car was confiscated by police, the car was being used by Mirza.

The actress and her sister, Mariam Mirza, had also been accused of abducting a girl, Fatima, in 2012 who had testified in the court both sisters had kidnapped her. 

Fatima had alleged that both sisters promised her a lucrative job in the showbiz industry but later used her as a slave to do their domestic chores. When Fatima wanted to leave, she was held against her will and tortured for several days by both sisters. The police later said that her involvement in the alleged kidnapping could not be established.

Zahid Zahoor, Fatima’s stepfather, had said that police had favoured Mirza by releasing her without producing her before a court to seek a remand.

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President Asif Zardari emphasizes the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income groups in the federal budget.

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President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasized the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income individuals in the forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed these remarks during in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The conference was attended by Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday to request complete support from him and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the next budget approval.

The President pledged to offer complete cooperation in attaining the objectives for the economic and developmental advancement of the nation.

Additionally, please peruse: Overview of the 2024-25 Budget

Both parties engaged in a discussion over the current economic state of the country. In addition, they deliberated on factors regarding the provision of assistance to the general people in the forthcoming budget.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also briefed the president about his recent visit to China. Leaders of nations and governments also deliberated on the development initiatives outlined in the forthcoming budget.

President Asif Ali Zardari emphasized to the Prime Minister the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-class individuals in the forthcoming federal budget.

The government is set to unveil a budget of Rs. 18 trillion.

It is important to mention that the government is prepared to deliver a federal budget above Rs18,500 billion today (Wednesday).

The government has allotted a sum of Rs2,100 billion for defense expenditures and Rs9,700 billion for interest payments on reserved loans. An allocation of Rs. 1500 billion has been made for development projects.

The budget allocates 253 billion rupees for the energy sector, 827 billion rupees for infrastructure, 800 billion rupees for energy sector subsidy, 206 billion rupees for water resources, and 279 billion rupees for transport and communication. The budget has a GDP growth target of 3.6 percent.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will collect taxes amounting to Rs. 12,970 billion.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been assigned a tax collection target of 12,970 billion rupees for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would need to generate an additional revenue of 3,720 billion rupees, with 3,452 billion rupees coming from direct taxes and 267 billion rupees from customs duties, in comparison to the current financial year.

The Inland Revenue’s tax revenue is projected to reach 11,379 billion rupees, with direct taxes accounting for 5,512 billion rupees and income tax contributing 5,454 billion rupees.

The income tax volume has set an extra objective of 1773 billion rupees, bringing the total aim to 2500 billion rupees.

Conversely, the parliamentary party of PPP convened a meeting led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. During the meeting, assembly members voiced their apprehensions about the budget and stated that the terms upon which Shehbaz supported the government have yet to be fulfilled.

PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah expressed his lack of knowledge on the specific details of the budget, as well as the agreements with the IMF and China, during a conversation with the media. In the past, the opposition was consulted, while an ally is not consulted.

The government is presenting a growth-oriented budget today, which amounts to Rs18,900 billion.

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Pakistan

The Prime Minister expressed deep sorrow at the demise of the Vice President of Malawi in an aviation accident.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed his profound sorrow on the demise of Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi in a sad aviation accident.

The prime minister sent his support to the government and citizens of Malawi during this difficult time and offered his condolences to the grieving family.

Saulos Chilima perished in an aviation accident, alongside nine other individuals, as declared by the nation’s President Lazarus Chakwera in a national speech.

The airplane became untraceable after it was unable to successfully touch down at the Mzuzu International Airport, located around 380 kilometers north of the capital city, Lilongwe. Chakwera has announced that the plane wreckage has been found.

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The court authorizes court reporting through the use of the IHC and grants permission to the media.

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The court has authorized the media to report on court proceedings, with adherence to the guidelines specified in a Supreme Court ruling.

The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a written ruling granting approval for the plea to delay the hearing of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and instructed that the matter be scheduled for a hearing in the first week of July.

The ruling is a result of petitions submitted by the Islamabad High Court Journalist Association, press association, and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which contested the PEMRA announcement.

On May 24th, the IHC sent notifications to PEMRA and the information secretary after receiving a petition that questioned the authority’s prohibition on publishing judicial proceedings. The court issued an injunction preventing PEMRA from imposing any disciplinary measures on television channels based on the present notification.

The court has also issued a notice regarding a miscellaneous petition that seeks to completely halt the PEMRA notification. This lawsuit exemplifies the ongoing legal dispute regarding the control of media coverage of court proceedings and the delicate balance between media freedom and the integrity of the judiciary.

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