Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by Rangers personnel on Tuesday in Al-Qadir Trust corruption case dating back to 2019 wherein he is accused of using his powers as prime minister in 2019 to give legal cover to ill-gotten money of a property tycoon.
The ousted premier was taken into custody from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC), where he had gone to seek bail in multiple cases registered against him ranging from terrorism to money laundering.
Addressing a press conference following Khan’s arrest, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah claimed that the PTI chief was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case for embezzling Rs60 billion.
So, what is the Al-Qadir Trust case?
The former prime minister — along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders — is facing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and a property tycoon, which reportedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer.
As per the charges, Khan and other accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — 190 million pounds at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the Pakistani government as part of the agreement with the property tycoon.
They are also accused of getting undue benefit in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.
During the PTI government, United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) seized assets worth 190 million pounds from a property tycoon in Britain.
The agency said the assets would be passed to the government of Pakistan and the settlement with the Pakistani property tycoon was “a civil matter, and does not represent a finding of guilt”.
Subsequently, then prime minister Khan get approval of the settlement with the UK crime agency from his cabinet on December 3, 2019, without disclosing the details of the confidential agreement.
It was decided that the money would be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.
Subsequently, Al-Qadir Trust was established in Islamabad a few weeks after the Imran-led government approved the agreement with the property tycoon.
PTI leaders Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, and her close friend Farah Khan were appointed as members of the trust.
Two to three months after the cabinet’s approval, the property tycoon transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close aide of the PTI chief, which he later transferred to the trust.
Later, Bukhari and Awan opted out as the trustees. That trust is now registered in the name of Khan, Bushra Bibi and Farah.
NAB officials were earlier probing the alleged misuse of powers in the process of recovery of “dirty money” received from the UK crime agency.
Following the emergence of irrefutable evidence in the case, the inquiry against Imran, Bushra Bibi, Barrister Shahzad Akbar, and a real estate tycoon was converted into the investigation.
According to the NAB officials, Khan and his wife obtained land worth billions of rupees from the property tycoon, to build an educational institute, in return for striking a deal to give legal cover to the property tycoon’s black money received from the UK crime agency.