LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested the manager of a firm owned by Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, son of former Punjab chief minister Parvaiz Elahi, in connection with the Rs2.75 billion National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam, The Express Tribune learnt on Monday.
An FIA team raided the offices of At-Tahur (Pvt) Limited in the Garden Town neighbourhood of Lahore and arrested its manager Abdul Malik on charges of opening a fake bank account and withdrawing over Rs300 million.
The key accused in the NICL scam – Mohsin Warraich, the son of former state minister for defence production major (retired) Habibullah Warraich – is considered to be a close friend of Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, sources said.
The amount, deposited by the NICL for purchasing properties owned by the Privilege Farm Pvt Ltd and the other owned by Mohsin Habib Warraich, was transferred from a Dubai Islamic Bank account.
Without naming anyone, Abdul Malik told The Express Tribune that the amount was handed over to some other individuals. The accused denied having any account in his name from which the amount was withdrawn.
On Monday, former federal health minister Naseer Khan, the father-in-law of Mohsin Warraich, met FIA’s director in Punjab Zafar Ahmad Qureshi and handed over cheques for Rs80.4 million and Rs13.3 million, respectively.
Interestingly, the arrest was made just after the meeting.
A post-dated cheque for Rs80.4 million in the name of NICL by the accused was also handed over to FIA investigators, which is to be cashed up to December 31.
So in this way the FIA Punjab chapter has ensured all liable recovery from the accused in the NICL scam involving an amount of Rs2.75 billion regarding two land purchase deals.
Responding to the FIA action, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, who is a member of the Punjab Assembly, said that this action shows that the PML-N and the PPP are hand in glove.
The Q-League would stand firm in the face of political victimisation, he said, adding that it would not be deterred by such tactics.
PML-Q’s Information Secretary Senator Kamil Ali Agha told reporters that the Chaudhry brothers were not linked with the NICL scam in any way.
Accusing the federal government of taking the action at the behest of the Punjab government, he said that such tactics would be counterproductive.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2010.