RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain appeared before the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Joint Investigation Team for a second time, only responding to a questionnaire that he was given in the previous hearing.
He failed to submit any further proofs except the documents that he had filed in the Supreme Court earlier.
“Malik has been claiming dolling out over Rs230 million, but so far the documentary evidence placed shows no more than Rs10 to 15 million,” sources privy to the proceedings of JIT told The Express Tribune.
NAB chief constituted a five member joint investigation team comprising three senior officers from NAB and one each from the police and Federal Investigation Agency.
Meanwhile the media handlers at NAB stated that Riaz was questioned about the details he filled in the questionnaire handed to him in the previous hearing.
“Riaz elaborated upon some commercial transactions involving huge amounts through which Dr Arslan Iftikhar allegedly obtained undue financial benefits from Riaz and Bahria Town. NAB will deeply examine these transactions now brought on record,” it added.
JIT also plans to acquire a statement from Salman Khan, Riaz’s son-in-law from whose accounts Arsalan Iftikhar’s leisure trips to UK were funded.
Sources also said that if Riaz did not provide any further evidences the JIT would rely on whatever proofs it may gather during its visit to UK.
Riaz has asked the court a week’s time till the next hearing. However the officials at NAB said that no date has been fixed as yet. The JIT has initiated an exercise to look into the money laundering matter.
Moreover, a notice has been sent to Dr Arslan for appearing before the court this week.
Land fraud case
Riaz, along with his son and seven other accused, were summoned by an anti-corruption court on Monday in a case involving the purchase of land through alleged forged documents.
As per protocol for declaring someone a proclaimed offender, Trial Judge Chaudhry Amir Muhammad Khan issued posters depicting Riaz, his son Ahmed Ali Riaz and others after they did not appear before the court although arrest warrants had been issued against them more than once. The judge then adjourned the hearing till September 3.
The court directed the Rawalpindi district coordination officer to collect the Rawalpindi property details of all the accused, and to submit the report in court on the next date of hearing. Riaz has denied the allegations of fraud and said he was looted by the revenue officials and some ‘middle men’, adding that he had legitimately paid Rs85 million for the land’s purchase in 2009.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.