Court rejects bail application of CEO Hascol Petroleum

Court rejects bail application of CEO Hascol Petroleum

KARACHI: A trial judge has refused confirmation of bail application of Aqeel Ahmed Khan, CEO of Hascol Petroleum Limited, according to a communication issued on Tuesday.

The company said that following today’s (February 21, 2023) the trial judge of the court refused confirmation of bail applications from a number of individuals, in the matter of FIA Enquiry No. 127/2021, it has led to the detention to numerous persons, including the CEO of Hascol Petroleum.

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The company further said that the legal counsel representing the CEO, that post arrest bail should be granted, in the meantime, in order to operate the affairs of Hascol Petroleum, the board has authorized the CFO, Amad Uddin, to exercise the authority of the CEO until the issue is resolved or there is a further decision taken by the board.

The company appointed Aqeel Ahmed Khan as its CEO w.e.f. August 05, 2021, replacing Adeeb Ahmad who has resigned from the position.

The Board has also approved the appointment of Zafar lqbal Chaudhry and Mustafa Ashraf to the Board as independent directors.

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Hascol is currently in negotiations with its creditors to finalize a restructuring of the Company’s liabilities. The Company’s Board and Shareholders are committed to a successful restructuring of the Company and long term options are being evaluated.

“We finally wish to inform that Hascol has lifted its stay order restraining the SECP’s investigation regarding its 2019 financial disclosures, and is cooperating with the SECP in this regard.”

Hascol Petroleum Limited is a Pakistani oil marketing company which is active in downstream sector. It is based in Karachi, Pakistan. The company has distribution rights of German lubricating oil Fuchs in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Federal Investigation Agency last month arrested Mumtaz Hasan, founder of the Hascol Petroleum Limited, as part of its investigation in the Rs54 billion worth of scam.

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“The FIA Commercial Banking Circle has registered a case against 30 suspects – including former and current officers of the National Bank of Pakistan and Hascol – and one suspect has been arrested after pieces of evidence came to light in an inquiry into bank default, financial fraud and money laundering of more than Rs54 billion by the Hascol Petroleum Company,” according to a statement.

The agency added that further raids are being carried out to arrest other suspects.

On the directives of FIA Sindh Zone Director Amir Farooqi, it read, the agency registered a case against the accused persons under the clauses 409/420/468/471/477-A/109 Pakistan Penal Code r/w 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 r/w 3/4 Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 amended in 202

The FIA said the case was registered after getting proof and pieces of evidence in the investigation in the country’s “biggest financial fraud.”

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As a whole, officials from Hascol Petroleum and partner companies – including Vitol, Fossil Energy and the colluding NBP – are named in the case.

“Syed Ahmed Iqbal, Saeed Ahmed, Syed Jamal Baqir, Akbar Hasan Khan, Syed Hasan Irtaza Kazmi, Reema Athar, Muhammad Saleem Salemi, Wajahat A Baqai, Usama Ghazi, Nabeel Zahoor, Hidayat Shar, Tariq Jamali, Usman Shahid, Shamim Bukhari, Asad Saleem, Muhammad Asmar Ateeq, Syed Muhammad Akbar Zaidi, Syed Misbah Hussain, Saleem Butt, Mumtaz Hasan Khan, Muhammad Ali Ansari, Abdul Aziz Khalid, Farid Arshad Masood, Tahir Ali, Liaquat Ali, Najmul Saqib Hameed, Farooq Rehmatullah, Muhammad Ali Haroon, Aqeel Ahmed Khan, and Khurram Shehzad are named as suspects in the case,” it read.