2010 Hajj fraud: Riyadh pledges to deport Pakistani implicated in scam

Pakistan consulate official to escort Ahmed Faiz back to Islamabad.

Hasnaat Malik July 19, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Authorities in the Saudi capital have assured Islamabad that they will shortly deport Ahmed Faiz, a key accused in the 2010 Hajj scam.

Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood has submitted a letter from Pakistan’s Consulate General in Jeddah in the Supreme Court in the suo motu case regarding the implementation of the court’s judgment on the Hajj scam.

The letter was sent by Nazar Gul, an official of the consulate general.

The letter states that an appeal was made to the Saudi interior ministry in Riyadh earlier this month to deport Faiz. It also pointed out that the Saudis were repeatedly reminded of the request.

“The written reply is still awaited. On July 13, the officer of the ministry of interior Riyadh informed me that Ahmed Faiz Shafi Muhammad would be deported to Islamabad very soon,” Gul wrote in the letter.

He added that he informed the interior ministry that an official from the consulate general would be deputed to take Faiz to Islamabad.

Gul’s letter adds that the consulate general is in contact with the interior ministry to work out further details. Faiz was arrested in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

The FIA report reveals that a notice was published in an Urdu-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia through the ministry of religious affairs, offering a reward of Rs1 million for providing any information leading to Ahmed Faiz’s arrest.

The report adds that Faiz went into hiding after hearing of court proceedings against him in Pakistan and planned to move to Taif or Riyadh. The report claims that prior to his arrest, an incident of ‘dramatic interception and escape’ was reported by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

“On June 23, 2014, while Ahmad Faiz was trying to shift his residence to some other place, a group of four persons (two Pakistanis and two Saudis) intercepted his vehicle and took him forcibly to an unknown location,” the report says.

According to the FIA, the four-member gang – including Faiz’s son-in-law – was interested in claiming the reward offered  by the government of Pakistan or to receive ransom from his family.

“However, Faiz’s sons managed to track down the abductors. They attacked the hiding place, accompanied by up to 25 other Pakistanis, and freed Faiz,” the report added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.


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