LAHORE: In a significant development, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, the President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by a local court in Lahore.
The action comes following his recent arrest in a money laundering case earlier today. Elahi, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, was taken into custody by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on charges of money laundering, just a day after he had obtained bail in a corruption case.
The arrest took place at the Camp Jail, where Elahi was held after securing bail in an illegal recruitment case that resulted in his arrest earlier this month. The anti-corruption court, which granted him bail, instructed Elahi to provide surety bonds amounting to Rs1 million. However, within a short span of time, a fresh case related to money laundering was registered against the PTI leader and his son.
In an attempt to evade the surety bond requirement and secure protective bail from the High Court, Elahi purposely abstained from submitting the bond. Consequently, he remained at Camp Jail until FIA officials apprehended him from the detention center. The former Chief Minister was subsequently presented before a judicial magistrate after undergoing a medical examination at the Services General Hospital in Lahore.
During the court hearing, the prosecution sought a 14-day physical remand for Elahi. However, the judicial magistrate rejected the request and ordered his transfer to Camp Jail on judicial remand. Subsequently, FIA officials escorted Elahi to the jail premises. Medical professionals had earlier declared Elahi fit to appear in court.
According to sources familiar with the case, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son, Moonis Elahi, allegedly invested billions of rupees in five Panama-based companies through money laundering practices. The FIA intends to obtain red warrants against Moonis Elahi in order to bring him back to Pakistan.
This arrest marks another episode in the ongoing saga of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s legal troubles. Initially detained on June 1 outside his residence in connection with a corruption case involving embezzlement of development funds, Elahi was released on June 2 following a district court order. However, he was promptly re-arrested the next day in a corruption case registered against him by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in Gujranwala.
Elahi appeared before a court in Gujranwala, where he was eventually cleared of the corruption charges relating to alleged kickbacks in road construction funds in Gujrat. Nonetheless, anti-corruption personnel re-arrested him soon after in a separate case concerning illegal recruitment in the Punjab Assembly during his tenure as the speaker.