NICL scam: NAB team seeks record from FIA

Sends request for copies of FIR registered in Sindh, Punjab.

Asad Kharal December 04, 2013
Sends request for copies of FIR registered in Sindh, Punjab. PHOTO: FILE


National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has contacted Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to get the record in multi-billion-rupee National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam.

A NAB team has visited the FIA premises for the purpose, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Earlier, the NAB headquarters in Islamabad – in compliance with the Supreme Court (SC) verdict – asked the FIA director-general through a letter to provide copies of the first investigation reports (FIRs) regarding the NICL scandal, and registered with the FIA Sindh and FIA Punjab chapters, and copies of charge-sheets (challans).

The FIA headquarters forwarded the NAB requisition to its Sindh and Punjab chapters to ensure provision of FIRs and copies of challans immediately.

According to available record in the SC, it transpired that NAB was instrumental in recovering Rs1.68 billion in NICL scandal, during an initial probe carried out on the direction of SC in mid-2010.

“This amount is almost half of the total recovery made so far in the case during more than three years,” a senior NAB official informed on Tuesday. In this context, NAB was atually never disassociated from the case even during the investigation by the FIA

A senior official of NAB said: “The bureau had already probed the NICL scandal on the directions of the Supreme Court during the early hearings of the case in May-June 2010 and major recoveries of Rs1.68 billion were made only because the bureau froze the account of an accused, Mohsin Habib Warraich, in Lahore.”

The SC had directed NAB for a discreet probe and subsequently a report was submitted in the apex court in fortnight time. Sources said NAB had intervened to freeze the accounts of the accused and recovered an amount of Rs1.68 billion at that time when it was most likely to be transferred to the foreign banks.

This amount was transferred to the NICL accounts and was claimed as recoveries by an investigation agency.

It is to be noted that the SC judgment conceded that advocate Abdul Hafeez Pirzada had appeared along with the NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi and had stated that the deal to purchase 803 kanals of the land was cancelled.

It is stated that in the meanwhile NAB had also conducted an investigation and directed that amount obtained by the seller, owner of Privilege Farms Limited, Lahore, be frozen and its confirmation obtained from the Accountability Court as stated by NAB Additional Prosecutor General Muhammad Akbar Tarrar.

The FIA shall keep the NAB informed of the progress being made in the investigation.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2013.

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