ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has formed an 11-member team to investigate sugar exports to Afghanistan based on the findings of the Sugar Inquiry Commission report, Geo News reported on Friday.
The team will be headed by Director FIA Islamabad Zone Dr Moeen Masood and will be made up of Customs, FBR and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) representatives . The team will investigate how sugar was being exported to Afghanistan.
The government on July 23 had directed the FBR, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and FIA to launch an investigation into sugars mills based on the Sugar Inquiry Commission report
The federal government had also ordered that a report on the investigation should be submitted within 90 days.
Sugar Inquiry Commission report
The report mentioned in depth how the amount of sugar exported to Afghanistan is routinely inflated to show as if 75 tonnes of the commodity were being exported per truck.
However, this is barely possible, given that the maximum capacity of a truck, even when overloaded, does not exceed 30 tonnes.
The scam also seemingly has another purpose: laundering money. If sugar is being exported to Afghanistan, the payment should also be coming in from the same country.
However, it was found by the commission that many sugar mill owners were receiving telegraphic transfers for payments for sugar sold to Afghanistan from the US and Dubai, therefore seemingly whitening money and earning dollars at the same time.
Another important finding highlighted in the report was that sugar mills paid an estimated Rs22bn in taxes to the Government of Pakistan, but out of that total amount, Rs12bn was reclaimed in rebates. Hence, the net contribution was close to around Rs10bn