The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is learnt to have initiated a fresh inquiry, probing a dubious transaction worth Rs12 million, directly connecting Chaudhry Moonis Elahi to the multi-billion rupee National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scandal.
The probe, launched by chief of FIA Punjab Waqar Haider on the orders of the Additional Director-General FIA, Zafar Qureshi, is being handled by a four-member investigation team.
The Rs12 million, paid via a pay order, supposedly for the purchase of a 3,630 square yard plot from a private developer at the rate of Rs2 million per 605 square yards which later became part of the land sold to the NICL at Rs53 million per kanal. The money was paid by one Muhammad Afzal.
FIA investigators believe that this questionable sum was paid to Chaudhry Moonis Elahi through his alleged front man, Muhammad Afzal, who later received Rs320 million as his share in the plundered money through various fake accounts.
They alleged that the money was transferred by Mohsin Habib Warraich, the son of former state minister for defence production Major (retd) Habibullah Warraich.
This important piece of a complex puzzle was found by investigators when they came across a transaction between the principal accused, Mohsin Habib Warraich, and a private land developer named Divine Developers.
The payment of Rs28 million was made to the land developer through two cheques and a pay order.
Although the two cheques, amounting to Rs16 million, belonged to Mohsin Warraich, the Rs12 million pay order was made on January 26, 2007, from DHA’s Phase II branch of the Askari Commercial Bank and surprisingly carried the signature and CNIC of Muhammad Afzal.
After the government’s removal of Zafar Qureshi as team head, an FIA deputy director, Basharat Mehmood Shahzad, was heading the NICL investigation team.
It is learnt that Zafar Qureshi had asked the director of FIA’s Punjab chapter not to extend the leave of Mehmood and to bind him to participate in a meeting scheduled to be held on September 5 in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2011.