Islamabad, Pakistan: Over 70 per cent of PTI’s members in Italy have paid their annual membership fee through stolen credit cards, reported The News International.
It further asserted that the receipts of payments clearly reflect a sham payment method, as in some cases only a single person paid the membership fee on behalf of more than 70 workers. However, instead of raising any objection to such dubious transactions, the party’s finance department not only accepted the payment but issued them the party’s Member Coordinator numbers.
Notably, PTI Organisation of International Chapters (OIC) Secretary-General Abdullah Riar in an interview on a YouTube channel on Sept 7, 2021, had reportedly claimed that in 2021 the party’s overseas membership was recorded up to 35,000 and it is expected to reach 50,000 next year.
The party has 14,000 registered members in South Africa where none of the top leadership ever visited in the recent past. Citing a former office-bearer of the party in Italy, the publication reported that there are huge financial anomalies in the party’s South African chapter.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill and PTI’s former chief organiser Senator Saifullah Niyazee reportedly did not respond to the questions sent by the publication.
Recently, a multi-national money laundering and human trafficking racket run by Pakistanis was busted in Paris. The French authorities discovered at least twenty legal companies involved in the construction business that was linked to a large network of “taxi” companies, which were used to redirect the funds to nearly 200 bank accounts opened with false papers.
The developments are especially noteworthy in light of the FATF plenary and working group meetings that began on Monday. All eyes will be on Pakistan as it would look to exit the “grey list” of the global anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering watchdog.