NICL scam: As Qureshi resumes probe, FIA officials ‘misplace’ files

Sources say govt decided not to allow meetings of investigation team or access to case files till Elahi’s acquittal.

Asad Kharal August 16, 2011


Recently restored Additional Director General FIA Zafar Qureshi resumed the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam probe on Monday amid ‘pre-planned’ obstacles.

In an attempt to facilitate Moonis Elahi, an accused in the multi-billion rupee NICL scam, prosecutors of the FIA failed to cooperate in the investigation process, well placed sources in the interior ministry said. Senior FIA officials also claimed to have ‘misplaced’ record files of the scam.

According to sources, Qureshi wrote to the Supreme Court (SC), secretary interior, DG FIA and Director FIA Lahore asking how he could conduct a transparent investigation when relevant records and investigation team members were unavailable.

Qureshi also asked for the leaves of the investigation team to be cancelled and to make it mandatory for FIA prosecutors to take part in the investigation process.

Following a threat of an implication of Elahi in yet another case related to NICL scam, the government is trying to find ways to delay or halt the case, sources revealed.

Elahi’s acquittal was made possible after many witnesses backed out from their initial statements and Qureshi was removed from his post, they added, saying the government fears that if Qureshi is allowed to take charge of the case or given access to case files before August 16, he might foil Elahi’s planned acquittal. The sources added that the government was planning a strategy to stop or make Qureshi ‘disappear’ from the scene for a few days.

The government might also plan to file a review petition against the SC order regarding Qureshi’s reinstatement.

Sources said that a plan “is being chalked out in which FIA junior officers may attack Qureshi, humiliating him”.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.