Business Standard

A charity cricket match in UK was used to fund Imran Khan's party: Report

At the centre of the saga is Wootton Cricket Ltd, a Cayman Islands-incorporated company, and the money from charity fundraisers, such as the 'Wootton T20 Cup', to bankroll PTI, reports FT

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

IANS London
As Pakistan awaits the verdict reserved by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) into the PTI's prohibited funding, an expose by the Financial Times has blown the lid off Pakistani tycoon Arif Naqvi's involvement in the party's finances and how a significant portion of its funding in 2013 was of foreign origin, media reports said.
According to the report, "Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013 adding up to a total of $2.12m", Geo News reported
At the centre of the saga is Wootton Cricket Ltd, a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi, and the money from charity fundraisers, such as the "Wootton T20 Cup", to bankroll PTI.
Naqvi, the founder of the Dubai-based Abraaj Group, one of the largest private equity firms operating in emerging markets back when the PTI was campaigning for the 2013 elections, hosted the cricket tournament at his country estate in the Oxfordshire village of Wootton from 2010 to 2012, FT said.
The guests were asked to pay between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds each to attend, according to the UK publication. Quoting, Naqvi, it added that that the money went to unspecified "philanthropic causes".
"Funds poured into Wootton Cricket from companies and individuals, including at least 2 mn pounds from a United Arab Emirates government minister who is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family," read the FT report, Geo News reported.
Political parties in Pakistan are not permitted to receive funding from foreign nationals and companies, but Wootton Cricket account details and emails seen by FT for the period between February 28 and May 30, 2013, reveal that both companies and foreign nationals, as well as Pakistanis, sent millions of dollars to Wootton Cricket after which funds were transferred to the PTI in Pakistan.
Imran Khan visited Wootton Place in 2012. To questions by FT, the former cricketer wrote back saying he had gone to "a fundraising event which was attended by many PTI supporters".
The FT report described the time as "critical" for Khan to collect funds ahead of the 2013 general elections due in May.
According to the publication, Naqvi worked closely with other Pakistani businessmen to raise money for his campaign, Geo News reported.
 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 29 2022 | 10:59 PM IST

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