Rs42 billion scam: EOBI ex-chairman arrested outside SC

Top court rejects Zafar Gondal’s plea for protective bail.


Hasnaat Malik/asad Kharal September 24, 2014
Rs42 billion scam: EOBI ex-chairman arrested outside SC

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE:


The former chairman of the Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), Zafar Iqbal Gondal, was arrested on Tuesday from the Supreme Court premises. Zafar, the main accused in the Rs42 billion EOBI scam, is the brother of Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Nazar Muhammad Gondal.


Gondal remained in the SC lawyers’ bar room for more than three hours in order to avoid arrest by a seven-member team comprising officials from the FIA Punjab chapter and Islamabad zonal office. An FIA report said Gondal’s answers during investigation do not exonerate him from his illegal actions and his physical custody is important for further interrogations.

Earlier, the former EOBI chairman filed an application for protective bail before a three-member bench headed by Justice Saqib Nisar, praying the FIA was harassing him and an order should be passed not to arrest him.

The FIA deputy director in Lahore, Khalid Anees, informed the court that six people, including Muhammad Iqbal, Wamic Anwar, Arif Azad, Waheed Khurshid, Najam Saeed and Khurshid Qamar, have already been arrested in the case.



The bench after hearing the arguments of both the parties dismissed the ex-EOBI chairman’s application. Six cases have been registered against Zafar Gondal in Islamabad police stations, seven in Lahore and two in Karachi. So far, he has obtained bail from different courts.

The EOBI chairman had allegedly caused a loss of Rs42 billion to the exchequer by investing huge amounts in private sector projects without approval from the Board of Trustees. The projects included a purchase of plots in DHA, purchase of a plaza in F-7 Markaz Islamabad, two 4300 cc Prado cars for the chairman, two plots in Sukkur, the development of a cricket ground in Islamabad, purchase of plots from CDA, 40 kanal lands in Lahore, purchase of four floors of a hotel in Lahore, construction of a 7-star hotel in Lahore, construction of M-9 Motorway and purchase of 20 kanal land near Karachi airport on exorbitant prices.

Sources told The Express Tribune that 15 cases have been registered against Gondal and other accused regarding illegal purchase of properties at much higher rates as compared with open market rates.

Upon completion of investigation and an end of the physical remand period, Gondal will be handed over to the FIA Karachi, according to Dr Usman Anwar, the FIA director in Punjab. Anwar also said that the accused can only be released from jail if he is bailed in all 15 cases filed against him in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.


Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2014.

COMMENTS (3)

A.K Sheikh | 9 years ago | Reply 1.Looks like such people have forgotten their death and the life hereafter. 2.This is an established practice that money such obtained can never be used in good manner, but always brings multiple never ending problems, with loss of peace of mind. 3.Such people should realize that the old /retired beneficiaries of EOBI are only getting Rs. 3600/- per month. Authorities should look into that. How the are pulling who do not have any other resources and on the other hand look at the level of corruption. If they have done wrong this is law of nature they cannot escape, what they have done.
suleman sharif | 9 years ago | Reply

Should've thought a bit and taken some advise before indulging in this evil practise of swindling funds of the oldies. The scale of corruption is massive and speaks of an amateur going for the full monty without net session.

VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ