Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) accompanied by Civil Lines police, Rawalpindi officials returned empty-handed after Islamabad police reportedly refused to cooperate or aid them in the arrest of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz on Saturday.
A raiding party of ACE, headed by Rawalpindi Circle In-charge Tanveer Shahzad, went to Islamabad to arrest Malik Riaz after a trial court issued warrants for his arrest in a land scam case.
Upon reaching Riaz’s residence in G-6/3 they were intercepted by Islamabad police and told not to proceed.
An official of ACE, part of the raiding party, confided to The Express Tribune that they were restricted to Aabpara police station, and a police official told the ACE team that the arrest could not continue as they had not followed the required legal procedure to arrest Riaz from Islamabad.
A security team had also been provided to Riaz to counter any moves for his detention, including six personnel of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, according to sources.
When asked why the raiding party was stopped, an official from Islamabad police, requesting anonymity said: “Legally, the ACE officials cannot make the arrest in an area outside their jurisdiction. If they had to, they should have asked for the local police’s assistance.”
The incident sparked outrage amongst high-ups in the Islamabad Police. A source in the Aabpara police station told The Express Tribune that an FIR was lodged against the raiding party before their return to Rawalpindi. The Inspector General of Police suspended and transferred the SDPO City Liaqat Niazi and SHO Aabpara police station Khalid Awan on ‘negligence’.
Seven junior rank officials were also suspended on the same charges but all were later reinstated.
A special anti-corruption court in Rawalpindi had released warrants for the arrest of former Bahria Town owner on June 21 after his alleged involvement in purchase of 1,401 kanals of land in Rawat using fake identities and forged documents. ACE Director Rawalpindi Muhammad Khan Ranjah said they would inform the trial court about the efforts of the investigation agency and it was now up to the court to decide what legal step should be taken following the non-cooperation of the Islamabad police.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.
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