The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) registered two money laundering cases against the sugar mafia.
FIA has detected Rs. 110 billion earnings by the sugar mafia during the last year through ‘speculative pricing,’ and as a result, it constituted 20 teams to apprehend those involved in it. It has also decided to investigate the bank accounts of sugar mill owners after finding evidence of cartelization.
According to the media reports, the ‘satta mafia’ in the sugar industry, with the alleged connivance of sugar millers, succeeded in increasing the price of sugar from Rs. 70 to Rs. 90 per kilogram last year.
Cases have been registered against ten major brokers of the commodity as the sugar industry players are once again lobbying to create an artificial shortage of sugar and increase the prices in the month of Ramazan, sources revealed.
FIA has also found evidence, in light of the sugar commission report, that some members of the cartel have also created ‘accounts’ to park their black money. More than 20 teams have been constituted, which would not only ensure registration of FIRs against both the millers and the satta mafia but will also ensure arrests of suspected persons.
The FIR registered against the sugar mafia reads, “It has transpired that sugar industry barons, sugar-brokers and their satta-agents (speculative pricing players), inactive connivance with sugar-mills, have transformed into a clandestine sugar satta-mafia and are operating in a collusive but secret-mode, especially through electronic means/WhatsApp groups to dishonestly and fraudulently maneuver, manipulate and artificially hike sugar prices, amidst hoax of impending sugar-stocks shortages (while sugar-stocks are lying ‘unsold’ or ‘sold/unlifted in mills & godowns and the demand-supply gap is artificial).”
FIA officials also told the media that action is being taken against major sugar groups, including those led by Jahangir Tareen and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shehbaz.
The FIA Lahore has been conducting an investigation into the multi-billion sugar scam since last year.