As investigators gather evidence in the multi-billion rupee National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) land scam, family members of one of the accused managed to flee the country, despite having their names referred for placement in the Exit Control List (ECL).
According to the NICL investigation team, three accused including former state minister for defence production Major (retd) Habibullah Warraich’s wife and two daughters left Pakistan from Karachi airport on September 6, 2011.
The investigators had requested the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headquarters and the Ministry of Interior to place their names on the ECL, in August 2011.
Earlier, Lahore High Court (LHC) had rejected Warraich’s plea to travel abroad for treatment and the removal of his family members’ names from a watch list.
The LHC then directed the FIA to transfer the accused persons’ names from the watch list to the ECL.
Meanwhile, two main witnesses in the scam, Adil Manzoor and Muhammad Afzal, have mysteriously disappeared from their residences while a third witness, Khadim Rasool, has informed Qureshi, in a statement, that he faces life threat from some influential personalities.
Qureshi forwarded the statement to Inspector General of Police Punjab to ensure Rasool’s security since he is an important prosecution witness in the scam.
“The DG FIA and interior ministry secretary have adopted all sort of delaying tactics … to benefit the accused persons,” Qureshi said in the latest progress report submitted to the Supreme Court.
Two reminders have been sent to DG FIA and Director National Central Bureau Interpol for extradition of three wanted accused Mohsin Warraich, Javed Syed and Amin Qasim Dada but the authorities have neither responded nor have they forwarded it to UK authorities, the report added.
The FIA headquarters has also misplaced the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency’s original report regarding Moonis Elahi’s accounts but has yet to take any action to fix the responsibility, despite three reminders, the report said.
The FIA has also sent a reference to the State Bank to take action against Moonis Elahi and his wife on charges of money laundering, said the report.
Meanwhile, more than three reminders have been sent to the interior secretary to register a criminal case against Director FIA Punjab Waqar Haider and Assistant Director FIA Legal Zulifqar Ali Chaudhry for de-freezing Moonis Elahi’s companies – At-Tahur and Agro Tractors – accounts, despite LHC rejecting the plea to do the same earlier.
More than Rs20 million were withdrawn by both companies after de-freezing, while Qureshi was suspended, the report added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2011.
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