Scandalous land deal: Senior federal minister among NICL beneficiaries, says FIA

Published: March 28, 2011
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The minister for trade amassed as much as Rs500m in the scam.

The minister for trade amassed as much as Rs500m in the scam.

KARACHI: 

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has established that certain influential political people benefited from illegal National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) land deals and officers of the NICL and others acted as front men for various state dignitaries, including the federal trade minister, Makhdoom Amin Faheem.

Sources also said that intense political pressure was brought to bear upon FIA, whose officials were told to hide facts in a report submitted to the Supreme Court about the involvement of influential people in the deal.

FIA investigators alleged that the minister amassed Rs500 million in the deal, inflicting a massive blow to the national exchequer.

According to sources, other accounts in which the ill-gotten money was later transferred were operated by less known persons or business associates with distinct political associations.

Interestingly, the FIA was being pressed into withholding his name from being included in the investigation.

According to sources, an investigation into the bank accounts of the central accused, Khalid Anwer, disclosed that of the Rs900 million paid from the national exchequer Rs40.1 million was used to write off debts of the federal minister and other members of his family.

On January 31, the FIA submitted a report in the Supreme Court according to which NICL paid Rs900 million for a 10-acre plot in Korangi in August 2009. The money was  paid into an Atlas Bank account (10210662390100 of Khayaban-e-Tanzeem branch). This is a joint account operated by Khalid Anwar and Khwaja Akbar Butt.

Later , Rs300m were transferred to another account of the same bank branch.

Khwaja Akbar shifted this amount into his Dubai Islamic Bank account (0067754001 of Main Boulevard branch) in Lahore.

One month later, on September 29, Rs40.1 million was paid to write off three loan accounts in the II Chundrigar Road branch of the Standard Chartered Bank. An amount of Rs24,504,750 of a joint loan account operated by Makhdoom Amin
Fahim and his son Makhdoom Jaliluz Zaman.

As much as Rs8,498,231 of a business loan (0100925952) owed by Makhdoom Jaliluz Zaman was also paid from this money as well as the home loan account (M050523034L 7997081) operated in the name of the wife of the federal minister, Rizwana Ameen.

FIA mentioned details of the shifting of Rs900 million into various accounts, including the Hashwani Hotels Limited, which runs a five-star hotel chain across the country. About Rs45 million was shifted into their account at Chappal Plaza branch of the National Bank of Pakistan on September 15 last year.

A careful look at the report submitted in the apex court revealed interesting facts, the sources said.

Although the report contained full details of all beneficiaries, including account numbers and titles of the bank accounts and the amounts transferred from the accounts of main accused Khalid Anwer and Khwaja Akbar, names and other details of the federal minister, his son and his wife were withheld.

The sources said that FIA investigators were facing such intense political pressure that an investigating officer, Assistant Director Bashir Shaikh, had disassociated himself from the case on the pretext of illness. The case has now been handed over to another officer.

FIA’s report also showed that Rs300 million was paid to front men of the federal minister and NICL officers from the account of the main accused Khalid Anwer.

Despite repeated attempts at communication, Daily Express could not reach Amin Fahim and his spokesman Aslam Pirzada for their comments.

Publsihed in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 28, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Well, this is quite serious.It seems every one is involved in making illegal money. FIA should investigate this issue and all involved should be given speedy punishment according to law.

    And I wonder, why does FBR not issue notices to these politicians about source of illegal /un-explained source of money. Recommend

  • Haris Farooq
    Mar 28, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Who is surprised? raise hands. At least I am not. Because initially they had said openely that “democracy is the best revenge” and they really proved it later.Recommend

  • Clean Pakistan
    Mar 28, 2011 - 9:59AM

    The righteousness of the title Makhdoom has been brought to disgrace by Mr. Faheem and his family… How do these thieves and public enemies live with themselves!Recommend

  • Chilli
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:24AM

    Bravo..the most clean face of PPP turned out to be filthy too..Recommend

  • Syed imran
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:47AM

    Corruption, the Hall Mark of PPP.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:57AM

    What can one say about PPP culture. It’s in the s…house where All The Presidents Men belong. Now instead of PPP or the FBR raising and demanding additional taxes, I believe all other parties should do a Payya Jam (Stop Wheels) strike in the country for an indefinite period until all The President’s Men have been arrested. The Finance Minister has already declared that Pakistan is in Default and cannot repay the IMF Loan.

    All The President’s men are going to play the Sind Card. There are other forces in Sind that understand Zardari better. That includes Pir Pagara, Mumtaz Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto and other leaders of Sind. For that reason they will resist Zardari and PPP’s use of this card. Once they are indicted and arrested all steam of Sind Card is going to run out. Recommend

  • Hassan Nawaz
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:39PM

    The officials and the chairman have been used by Mr. Fahim and now they are being abused also by putting them in Jail. Only the innocent get behind bars.Recommend

  • vertigo
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:55PM

    Let us see how far justice goes this time.
    Bravo Express Tribune for publishing this news.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Mar 28, 2011 - 1:27PM

    Well, many of us wanted democracy, now that we have, we don’t like it.

    Atleast the previous government was not so blatantly corrupt & the President was clean. Look at the current crop of our so called leaders (AZ, The Shariff’s & Co, Gillani’s & Family) etc.

    All Hail Democracy!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Copper
    Mar 28, 2011 - 2:10PM

    FIA officials are definitely to be praised; one can imagine the pressure they are facing at the moment. Amin Fahim, despite several scandals, still holds the ministry; a real dodger.
    At least the better part of democracy is the politicians can be investigated, Ever heard of any general being investigated?Recommend

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