Police Set To Clear Dubai Businessman Umar Zahoor In Cases Filed By Ex-Wife Sophia Mirza

Police Set To Clear Dubai Businessman Umar Zahoor In Cases Filed By Ex-Wife Sophia Mirza
The Lahore Police have decided to give Dubai-based businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor a clean chit in two cases filed against him. The cases were lodged nearly 15 years ago by his former wife and television anchor Khushbakht Mirza (known as Sophia Mirza), during a custody battle for their twin daughters.

In investigations conducted by Race Course Police Station Officer Rehan Anwar, he said that there is no evidence or merit in Sophia Mirza's applications against Zahoor. Moreover, he said that after registering the cases, Sophia Mirza did not cooperate with the police in investigations despite several requests. He claimed that Mirza failed to provide the police with any evidence to support her claims.

In his report, which will be submitted to the relevant court, Anwar said that Mirza lodged a case against Zahoor in 2009, in which the businessman was accused of conspiring to kidnap their twin daughters Zainab and Zuneirah from a private, five-star hotel in Karachi (PC) along with his accomplice Malik Shahid.

At the time, the two girls were minors, and Mirza contended that they should be returned to her.

Anwar said that initial investigations in the case were conducted by ASI Muhammad Basharat Hassan at the Race Course Police Station in Lahore.

"The investigating officer repeatedly called the complainant through an official order, but she did not appear," he wrote in his report, adding that during the probe, it came to light that a court in the UAE had already granted custody of the minor children to their father (Umar Farooq Zahoor).

The officer wrote: "As per the records, there were two attempts made to hand over the minors to the complainant (Sophia Mirza) in light of the court's decision."

The officer added that these attempts were unsuccessful "due to the intervention of the UAE Court's decision."

READ MORE: LHC Dismisses FIA Petition Against Umar Farooq Zahoor

"Taking into consideration these facts, the Supreme Court has also dismissed the complainant's petition as she received Rs1 million to pursue the case in UAE. Considering the aforementioned facts and circumstances, it may not be appropriate to continue the investigation in this case, and no credible evidence has emerged regarding the offence of Section 363 of the Pakistan Penal Code (kidnapping) against the accused in this case," the police officer wrote in his report.
Section 363: Punishment for kidnapping:
Whoever kidnaps any person from Pakistan or from lawful guardianship shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to a fine.

"Based on the information provided, considering the aforementioned facts and circumstances, it may be deemed a waste of time to continue the investigation in the mentioned case. Therefore, the decision to dismiss the case has been made. Hence, a report of dismissal has been prepared and forwarded," the officer said.

Stolen cheque

Similarly, the police have decided to close a second case filed by Mirza against Zahoor, that of stealing cheques, terming it as frivolous and without merit.

Registered by Sophia Mirza in 2009, the case accuses Zahoor of stealing cheques belonging to Mirza bearing the serial numbers 6028414, 6028424 and 6028414 from her purse.

Moreover, Mirza accused Zahoor of forging her signature to withdraw a whopping Rs40 million from her bank account but failed.

Anwar noted in his report that the case had been investigated, and no supporting evidence was found.

"The investigation in this case was conducted by ASI Rafaqat Ali at the Race Course Police Station in Lahore," he said.

"The investigating officer repeatedly called the complainant to join the investigation and submit the documentary evidence, but she did not appear nor submitted any evidence, and she did not receive the summons or notice," his report read.

Furthermore, a case was filed by Shahid Ahmad Khan against Mirza at the Defence Police Station regarding cheque No. 6028414 (as mentioned in the FIR). The investigating officer repeatedly called the complainant to join the investigation and submit the documentary evidence, but she did not appear nor submitted any evidence."

Anwar said that the case remained under investigation for 13 years. He added that there is no legal provision that allows the police to keep cases under investigation indefinitely.

"Therefore, a decision has been made to dismiss this case, considering the suspicious circumstances. Hence, a report of dismissal has been prepared and forwarded."

Sophia Mirza versus Zahoor

Sophia Mirza, who worked for mainstream television channels in Pakistan as a host and actor apart from modelling, had registered a total of eight cases against her former husband, Umar Farooq Zahoor, in Lahore and Karachi.

READ MORE: Actress Sophia Mirza Flees To UK Escaping Arrest In Fraud Case

These cases included allegations of kidnapping, money laundering and fraud. Except for one, all cases have been dismissed due to lack of evidence or lack of cooperation with the police from the complainant.

It may be noted that Islamabad Police had registered a criminal case against former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar, model Sophia Mirza, and others for registering "false and vindictive cases" against businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor in the summer of 2020 — when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was in power.

According to a copy of the FIR registered at Islamabad Secretariat Police Station, a case for criminal investigation has been formally registered against Akbar, Mirza (whose real name is Khushbakhat Mirza), her sister Mariam Mirza, Maira Khurram, Umaid Butt and Ali Mardan Shah under Sections 420, 468, 471, 385, 386, 389, 500 and 506 of PPC 1860.
The FIR has been registered for cheating, preparation of forged documents, extortion of money, defamation and criminal intimidation.

As per the FIR, an inquiry against Umar Farooq Zahoor and others was initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) Lahore after an application was submitted by his ex-wife Mirza.

During the PTI government, Shahzad Akbar (who was the head of Imran Khan's Asset Recovery Unit) and Sophia Mirza jointly registered two cases of money laundering and corruption against Umar Farooq Zahoor. Subsequently, at the request of the PTI government, Interpol issued Red Notices against Zahoor.

READ MORE: Fawad Chaudhry And Umar Zahoor Were In Close Contact For Years, GEO TV Claims

However, later investigations determined that these cases were motivated by revenge and the personal enmity of Shahzad Akbar and Sophia Mirza against Zahoor.

Zahoor, PM Imran & fancy watches

Zahoor took up a new role in the politics of Pakistan when he claimed to have bought some of the watches allegedly obtained by former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The watches were manufactured by the Swiss luxury watchmaker Graff specifically for Saudi Arabia Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, with a watch face that depicted the Holy Kaaba in Mecca and a diamond-encrusted dial that was worth several million dollars. The watch, as part of a set, including a gold pen, ring and cufflinks.

This set was gifted to Imran during his official visit to Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Toshakhana Rules: Immoral, Illegal, or Fattening?

Imran, though, later sold it off.

According to Zahoor, it was Akbar who approached him with the offer to buy the rare and expensive watch, given that the UAE-based businessman was known to have a taste for such rare collectibles.

Zahoor said that he was told that the watch had a market price of $12 million but that he could have it at a marked-down price of around $5 million.

Ultimately, Zahoor claimed to have bought the watch for $2 million because the deal had to be completed in cash rather than bank transfer.

Zahoor identified Imran Khan and his wife's known representative, Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Gogi, as the person who handed over the watch.

Imran Khan, watches and profit

According to the records of the Toshakhana, the Graff watch set with the pen, ring and cufflinks was gifted to Imran during his visit to Saudi Arabia in September 2018.

The records show that the value of the entire set was assessed to be about Rs100.92 million. Of this, the watch alone was assessed to be worth some Rs85 million.

The pair of cufflinks were assessed to be worth Rs5.67 million, the pen for Rs1.5 million, and the gold and diamond ring for Rs8.75 million.

Imran paid around 20% of the assessed value of the gifts to retain them, or around Rs20.27 million.

In September 2018, a US dollar cost around Rs123.74 in the interbank trade, which puts the assessed value of the watch set at $815,581.1. The watch alone was worth – per the assessed value – $686.924.2.

The payment of around Rs20.27 million by Imran Khan to retain the gift that that time comes to just $163,852.

This means that Imran Khan's net profit on selling the watch – if Umar Farooq's claims of paying $2 million are to be believed – comes to an eye-watering $1.84 million.