London [UK], September 3 (ANI): Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has been fined by the UK government for tax evasion of over 2 million pounds.
According to documents, Hussain was fined for not paying more than 2 million pounds to the national exchequer over a 20-year period from large earnings amounting to millions of pounds, Geo News reported.
The investigation into the case pertains to income, payments, assets accumulation and National Insurance contributions that were never paid between 1995 to 2015. The probe is based on the monthly expenditures and estimated income of Hussain and party workers.
Hussain's home in Edgware has three full-time bouncers, two maids, a full-time driver and a cook. His house expenditure and settlement payment to his former wife Fiza Gabol and daughter Afzaa is estimated to be around 50,000 pounds per month. However, the amount does not include payments made to the MQM leader's party staff who are taking care of the London office for more than 20 years.
Dozens of people have worked either full-time or part-time at MQM's International Secretariat. At its peak, there were almost 20 people on the party's payroll and the recipients were believed to be getting cash in hand as most of them received government benefits for income and living.
A source close to Hussain said the latter has challenged the civil proceedings, stating he never earned any money, has never been employed and was not obliged to pay income tax to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), according to Geo News.
The MQM chief asserted that he has been managing his life through donations given by loyalists from both Pakistan and overseas. As the head of a political party, he had the authority to use those funds to maintain his lifestyle free of taxes.
Sources within the MQM were quoted as saying that the HMRC's investigation is one of the main reasons behind the decision of senior leaders Muhammad Anwar and Tariq Mir to part ways with Hussain.
Both Anwar and Mir, who are qualified accountants, were entrusted with taxation and financial matters for the party for more than two years till relations with Hussain soared around four years back.
The duo provided a base to Hussain at the accountancy firm in 1994 when Hussain left for London from Karachi.
Hussain has accused both Mir and Anwar for not guiding him properly and failing to pay dues to the government. While the two have been named in the HMRC investigation, the MQM leader's lawyers have told officials that payment of taxes should be done by Anwar and Mir as Hussain did not handle financial matters. The HMRC has not blamed the duo of wrongdoings.
Hussain, Anwar and Mir have clashed over the transfer of two properties worth around 1.5 million pounds under the MQM chief's name. While Anwar and Mir are the legal owners of 221 Whitchurch Lane and 185 Whitchurch Lane properties, the MQM is the beneficial owner.
Both Mir and Anwar told Hussain first and then through lawyers that they will wait for the final decision in the case when Hussain asked the two to transfer the properties.
In a legal letter sent to Hussain, Mir and Anwar said they expected the MQM chief to pay off all dues or penalties to the HMRC. Both have stated they will not be transferring the two properties to Hussain, Geo News reported.
The HMRC said that paying of dues was Hussain's responsibility and not any other person or anyone else associated with him. (ANI)