Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has filed two money laundering cases against the sugar mafia. The FIA discovered Rs. 110 billion in revenues by the sugar mafia through “speculative prices” in the previous year and formed 20 teams to arrest those involved. Since discovering signs of cartelization, it has also agreed to examine the bank accounts of sugar mill operators. As per the media reports, the sugar industry’s “Satta mafia” involved in raising the price of sugar from Rs. 70 to Rs. 90 per kilogram last year, allegedly with the help of sugar millers.
Sources have revealed that the cases have been filed against ten major commodity traders as the sugar industry players mobilize once again to establish an artificial shortage of sugar and boost prices during Ramazan. Keeping in view the sugar commission report, the FIA has discovered evidence that some mafia members have developed “accounts” to store their illegal money. Over 20 teams have been formed to guarantee the registration of FIRs against the millers and the satta mafia, as well as the arrest of alleged individuals.
“It has transpired that sugar industry magnates, sugar-brokers, and their speculative pricing players, in active collusion with sugar-mills, have turned into a covert sugar Satta-mafia, and are conspiring in secrecy, particularly through electronic means/WhatsApp groups, to deceitfully and illegitimately exploit, manipulate, and falsely hike sugar prices, amidst a deception of imminent sugar-stocks scarcity (while sugar-stocks are lying ‘unsold’ or ‘sold in mills & godowns, and the demand-supply gap is artificial).” reads the FIR filed against the sugar mafia.
Action has been taken against major sugar organizations, including those headed by Jahangir Tareen and Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz, according to FIA officials. Since last year, the FIA Lahore has been investigating the multi-billion-dollar sugar fraud.