As the country awaits the verdict reserved by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) into the PTI’s prohibited funding, an expose by the Financial Times has blown the lid off Pakistani tycoon Arif Naqvi’s involvement in the party’s finances and how a significant portion of its funding in 2013 was of foreign origin.
According to the report, “Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013 adding up to a total of $2.12m”.
At the centre of the saga is Wootton Cricket Ltd, a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi, and the money from charity fundraisers, such as the “Wootton T20 Cup”, to bankroll PTI.
Naqvi, the founder of the Dubai-based Abraaj Group, one of the largest private equity firms operating in emerging markets back when the PTI was campaigning for the 2013 elections, hosted the cricket tournament at his country estate in the Oxfordshire village of Wootton from 2010 to 2012, FT said.
The guests were asked to pay between £2,000 and £2,500 each to attend, according to the UK publication. Quoting, Naqvi, it added that that the money went to unspecified “philanthropic causes”.
“Funds poured into Wootton Cricket from companies and individuals, including at least £2m from a United Arab Emirates government minister who is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family,” read the FT report.