Church Fraudulently Sold for Rs60m
MURREE: Murree police have registered an FIR against three individuals, for fraudulent activity worth Rs60 million, on the pretext of the sale of the Holy Trinity Church.
Among the suspects are Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael. The other two are Shafiq Maseeh and Aqeel Maseeh.
Murree Station House Officer (SHO) Malik Rafaqat Hussain confirmed that a case has been registered on directions from the court.
On January 26, an additional sessions judge directed that the Murree SHO register an FIR against the aforementioned individuals under sections 420, 468 and 471 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Shafiq Maseeh, in connivance with Mr Michael, allegedly took Rs60 million from a property adviser, Waqar Ahmed Khan, police records show.
However, the counsel for the complainant, Syed Khawar Ameer Bukhari, said that the police has not invoked the concerned sections 467, 109 and 34 of the PPC – which are the necessary offences according to the complaint.
The complainant, Mr Khan, alleged that the three suspects defrauded him on the pretext of the sale or lease of the Holy Trinity Church on Mall Road.
The suspects allegedly showed a power of attorney for a foreign mission at the time of the deal, which authorised the sale of the church.
Mr Bukhari said that the Christian Foreign Mission denied that power of attorney had been issued, and said that Christian churches cannot be sold.
SHO Rafaqat said that Mr Khan was being held in Bannu jail in a separate case, and an investigating officer was sent to the jail only to discover he had been released.
The SHO said Mr Khan would visit the police station on Monday and the police would make arrests once it had the necessary information.
When contacted, Mr Michael said he had never met Mr Khan and was not part of any deal with him.
He said his name was used fraudulently, as there was no proof of the meeting or of any transactions, and said there were not even telephone records against him.
He said he did not know Shafiq Maseeh, and said Mr Maseeh was not a secretary of the ministry as was mentioned in the application.
He added that the sale and purchase of churches is a serious crime and he denied his involvement in such unlawful activity.
He said that at the time noted in the application, 2012 to 2013, he was not a minister but a senator, and did not have the authority to make such deals.
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