Aga Khan Gives Up Claim to More Than $1 Million
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ The Aga Khan, one of the world’s richest men, has abandoned a claim to more than $1 million seized at a Canada-U.S. border crossing six years ago.
A lawyer acting for the Aga Khan, Leonard Doust, said he couldn’t disclose why his client decided to withdraw the claim Monday.
``For reasons I can’t go into in a public forum, the decision has been made by the Aga Khan,″ Doust told Justice Allan Thackray.
The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world’s 25 million Ismaili Muslims, has decided to forfeit the money to the province of British Columbia, he said.
The Aga Khan, 57, lives in Paris and has a personal fortune reported to be in excess of $1.4 billion.
Nizar Kanji, a member of the Ismaili community in Canada, said the seized money was religious funds.
The Ismaili community has denied the money is part of an international money-laundering scheme still under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The money was seized by Canadian police at the Pacific Highway border crossing in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey in January 1989. It was discovered in five envelopes under carpeting in a spare-tire wheel well of a Mercedes-Benz driven by a Sadrunin Kabani, a Washington state businessman.
Kabani was fined $5,000 and placed on two years probation for violating U.S. currency export laws that require a report to be filed if more than $10,000 is exported out the country.