Khurram Rasool swindles Rs100m from Karachi firm
KARACHI: The prime ministerís former media coordinator, Mian Khurram Rasool, has swindled Rs100 million from a big business house in Karachi, The News has learnt. Khurram Rasool had given cheques for Rs90 million under different heads to the complainant and owner of Home Craft, Haji Abdul Hameed, 80, his sons and different directors of the company. All the cheques were dishonoured.
The accused got into a written agreement with the said company to import scrap of ships from Ghana, Africa, in 2008. The accused also kept claiming during this period to be a close buddy of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
In 2011, Rasool took Mian Hamoodur Rehman, a director of the said company, to the PM House in Islamabad to pressurise him so that the business house would not proceed with litigation against him. Hamoodur Rehman told this correspondent that Rasool kept ëtalkingí to the prime minister on the phone during a one-hour stroll at the PM House, making them believe he was a close friend of the premier, and that the Federal Investigation Agency or any other department could not act against him.
Believing this, the complainants continuously tried to put moral pressure on Rasool to pay the amount after all his agreements, promises, oaths, and cheques were dishonoured. Khurram Rasool kept ensuring the victims that he was an honest person and would return their money.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) caretaker President Muhammad Saeed Shafique also wrote letters to Interior Minister Rehman Malik and FIA Deputy Director, Karachi, Altaf, on May 30, 2010 on behalf of the victim, Haji Abdul Hameed, who is also a member of the chamber, and informed them about the details of the fraud, demanding action against the accused.
But the FIA did not act against Khurram Rasool even after one-and-a-half years. In the meanwhile, senior member KCCI Siraj Qasim Teli also met Rehman Malik in person and informed him about the details of the fraud, after which the interior minister forwarded the application to the FIA with his reference.
After a few days, FIAís Inspector Nabeel Mehmood called the victims and told them that a case could not be initiated against the accused on the basis of mere claims and refused to register an FIR. Haji Abdul Hameed told this correspondent that the accused opened an LC for Rs30 million at Bank Islami, Kharadar branch, to import scrap from Ghana and made three shipments from the African country to Karachi on November 17, 2008, November 27, 2008 and December 1, 2008.
However, instead of delivering, the scrap was sold off from the godowns of Maersk shipping company, while the accused stayed put in Ghana during this period. Haji Abdul Hameed sent his business partners to Ghana, who met Khurram Rasool in his business office there. The media coordinator to the PM kept demanding money from them on one pretext or the other and they sent him the cash through the Western Union, receipts of which are available with this correspondent.
In the meantime, the accused also made Haji Abdul Hameed pay money to his friends and business partners. Khurram Rasool conned Rs49.458 million from the victim. Haji Abdul Hameed and the directors of his company have also filed a case against Bank Islami and Maersk in the Sindh High Court in which they have requested the court to order the accused to pay their money back.
When FIA Deputy Director Altaf was contacted, he said investigations against Khurram Rasool were in their preliminary stage but it looked the accusedwas already in deep trouble.