Lahore bizman started transferring properties abroad soon after his daughter married Pak Army chief’s son

In 2018, the daughter of Sabir Hameed alias ‘Mithu’ married the eldest son Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and in the same year, Hameed started transferring properties abroad, Fact Focus reported in what is being called as ‘BajwaLeaks’.

In 2013, the tax paid by Hameed was less than (Pak) Rs 1 million. In the coming years, he became a billionaire, a powerful property business tycoon of Lahore, and started transferring assets abroad.

In 2018, Hameed declared 21 properties in his name, a business capital of Rs 31 million, cash of Rs 78 million, shares in M/s Dawn Property of Rs 985 million, La Residence Pvt Ltd loan of Rs 136.8 million, some shares in Best Venture Ltd, and shares in H.D. Investment amounting to Rs 764 million.

He retained foreign properties of Rs 312 million, a business capital of Rs 510 million, and two bank accounts.

In 2019, Hameed had 20 properties in his name, a business capital of Rs 129 million, an investment of Rs 764 million, cash of Rs 273.2 million, and shares amounting to Rs 210 million, Fact Focus reported.

In 2020, Hameed declared 20 properties. His business capital amounted to Rs 141 million, an investment of Rs 764 million, and shares worth Rs 217 million.

In 2021, Sabir declared 26 properties, including agricultural, commercial and residential properties in the most expensive areas of Lahore.

Other than that, he owned shares in land opposite EME housing society, 55 Kanal land in Mouza Thetre, Lahore Cantt, 10 Kanal land in Derta Chahal, and a half share in house 72 K in DHA Lahore. Other than these properties, he had business capital of Rs 141 million including capital in Dawn Motors, Rashid Filling Station, Capital Dawn Communication, investment of Rs 764 million, two Mercedes Benz and a Lexus, cash of Rs 380.3 million, and an inheritance, Fact Focus reported.

Hameed’s daughter, Mahnoor Sabir, became a billionaire nine days prior to becoming the daughter-in-law of General Bajwa while her other three sisters remained as they were, Fact Focus reported.

The total worth of Manhoor’s declared assets was zero in the last week of October 2018, which jumped to more than one billion (Rs 1,271 million) just one week before her marriage on November 2, 2018.

Mahnoor got back-dated allocations of eight DHA plots in Gujranwala on October 23, 2018, nine days before her marriage, something only possible if one has ownership of land acquired by DHA.

On the same day in 2018, Mahnoor Sabir also became an owner of a Constitution One Grand Hyatt apartment again in the back dates of 2015. Though Mahnoor Sabir declared these properties to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in 2018, the filing retrospectively stated that these properties were acquired in the tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The declarations were made to show that every single property was in fact purchased before November 2016. Why before November 2016? It wasn’t clear at the time but became obvious as time passed, Fact Focus reported.

These annual returns, along with the declarations for the tax year 2017, were made on September 14, 2018, and October 23, 2018. Later, declarations for the year 2018 were also submitted on December 17, 2018.

Mahnoor’s properties include 212 kanal and 12 marla of agricultural land at Mauza Julke, Lahore, alongside Ferozepur Road (current market value of Rs 340 million), four 8 marla and three 4 marla commercial plots in Phase 7 Sector C of DHA Lahore (current market value: Rs 490 million), one Grand Hayat Islamabad apartment (current market value: Rs 70 million), allocations of eight one-Kanal plots in DHA Gujaranawala (current market value: Rs 72 million) and 15,000 shares in a company incorporated in 2014, La Residence (Pvt) Ltd, with declared value Rs 1.5 million.

Mahnoor also became ‘the manager’ of an oil company, Taxx Petroleum Pakistan, in November 2019. Taxx Petroleum, which is currently registered as an overseas company in Pakistan with its head office in Dubai, was in fact first registered in Pakistan on November 14, 2018, and later registered in the UAE on January 16, 2019.

Incorporation documents of the company taken from Pakistan show Sabir Hameed and his brother Nasir Hameed as directors. However, Taxx Petroleum, which started its operations across the whole of Pakistan within days following its incorporation, is being run by the Mahnoor, General Bajwa’s daughter-in-law, from its declared head office in Dubai. Mahnoor’s LinkedIn profile lists her as a senior manager at Taxx Petroleum, Fact Focus reported.

The FIA travel history record of the Hameed brothers shows that Sabir and Nasir rarely travelled to the UAE, while General Bajwa’s son Saad and his wife Mahnoor used to live in Dubai and would rarely visit Pakistan.

General Bajwa initially submitted this return and wealth statement in 2013 on November 30.

However, after being appointed COAS, he revised the wealth statement for this year three times: On September 17, 2017, November 2, 2017, and November 8, 2017.

In the revised wealth statement for 2013, General Bajwa added a commercial plot in phase VIII of DHA Lahore. He claimed that in fact he had purchased this plot back in 2013 but forgot to declare. He would continue to forget for the next four years and could only remember his omissions in 2017, one year after becoming army chief, Fact Focus reported.

From zero in 2016 to Rs 2.2 billion (declared and known) in simply six years is the rise in wealth of General Bajwa’s wife Ayesha Amjad – not including residential plots, commercial plots, and houses given by the army to her husband, Fact Focus reported.

Ayesha Amjad registered as a tax filer on August 10, 2016. Her husband was to be considered as a candidate for being appointed the next army chief of the country in November 2016. The 2016 annual return and wealth statement was her first-ever declaration with the FBR which was originally submitted on October 28, 2016, just three weeks before Bajwa was appointed the army chief.

In her 2016 declaration, Ayesha Amjad declared eight “Any Other Assets” without describing them. This wealth statement was however revised on April 17, 2018, when General Bajwa army chief. Declared values were mentioned in the returns, Fact Focus reported.

Ayesha declared that the net value of her assets during the previous financial year, 2015, was zero.

The 2017 wealth statement showed nine “Any Other Assets” and only described two properties.

The tax records for the year 2018 show that Ayesha retained all the previous years’ assets and purchased five more commercial and residential properties. She also declared a USD foreign currency account this year which had USD 384,166 equivalent to PKR 35,691,882 in it, Fact Focus reported.

The tax records for the next year, 2019, show all properties, except one, were maintained and one new property was added.

Ayesha sold one property this year and had a capital gain of Rs 43,000,000. She immediately converted all Pakistan Rupees into United States Dollars. Pakistani currency was devaluing at a rapid pace in those days.

The money in the foreign currency account reached USD 656,030 equivalent to PKR 66,083,330.

Amounts in other bank accounts and cash and prize bonds were in the tens of millions and can be checked from the returns, Fact Focus reported..

In 2020, Ayesha retained all the previous properties and purchased two large farmhouses in Gulberg Greens Islamabad. She also declared Dollar FCA account balance USD 478157.78.

Both new farmhouses were ten Kanal each in sector B of Gulberg Greens Islamabad. Ayesha declared that she had bought one farmhouse for Rs 50,000,000 (and two for Rs 100,000,000). However, the minimum market price of one ten Kanal farmhouse in sector B of Gulberg Greens was Rs 150,000,000. So, two farmhouses would cost Rs 300,000,000 at the minimum. One of these farmhouses was a corner plot at the crossroads of street 9A and street 8. Both farmhouses are adjacent, together with an immense 20 Kanal farmhouse property in the heart of Gulberg. Clearly, this was one of the largest cases of misdeclaration, Fact Focus reported.

When Qamar Javed Bajwa became a lieutenant general, his wife was not even a tax filer. His closest friend in Lahore, Sabir “Mithu” Hameed, was a good businessman but not a billionaire. Everything changed for both families as they moved ahead and become one family, Fact Focus reported in what is being called as BajwaLeaks.

Within six years, both families become billionaires, started an international business, purchased multiple foreign properties, started transferring capital abroad, become owners of commercial plazas, commercial plots, huge farmhouses in Islamabad and Karachi, an immense real estate portfolio in Lahore, and so on. The current market value of the – known – assets and businesses within Pakistan and outside accumulated by the Bajwa family during the last six years is more than Rs 12.7 billion.

Despite many efforts over the last three years, Fact Focus was unable to obtain data about assets in the name of the General Bajwa’s two sons.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

20221122-060023

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