NICL scam: Formal probe launched against FIA chief

KARACHI: The Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) has formally launched an investigation against its Director-General Wasim Ahmed.

Confirming that a questionnaire had been received from the Additional Director-General Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, the Director, Karachi, Moazzam Jah Ansari, said that he would soon file his answers.

Sources said that the DG FIA is on a 10-day leave and observers believe it to be the precursor of his removal from the post to protect the government from further embarrassment. According to officials, personal business has been cited as the reason for the leave.

The Supreme Court had recently ordered his removal after accusing him of mishandling the investigation into the Hajj scandal.

According to The Express Tribune correspondent in Lahore, Asad Kharal, the FIA has decided to arrest Moonis Elahi if he failed to appear before the investigation team. “If Moonis Elahi does not appear before the FIA team, he will be booked in three cases (relating to the NICL scam),” Zafar Qureshi told The Express Tribune.

Moonis will initially be booked under the supplementary statement that the manager of one of his companies made before the FIA in which he alleged that Rs220 million of the plundered money was received from Mohsin Habib Warraich and was later handed over to Moonis Elahi.

Moonis Elahi is also being arraigned in all three cases registered by the FIA’s Punjab bureau. Sources in the FIA told The Express Tribune that Moonis Elahi used his influence to open a fake bank account and received the plundered money through this account in the name of his company’s manager.

Addressing a press conference at his office in Karachi, Ansari announced a reward of Rs1 million for anyone who helps in the arrest of the director of the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) Amin Qasim Dada and said that according to the immigration record, Dada last returned to Pakistan in July last year and had not left the country since.

He said that FIA has already got Dada’s name on the exit control list (ECL) while letters have been dispatched to the Passport and Immigration authorities in Islamabad for the cancellation of his passport.

Ansari said that when he had gone to the camp office of the director general, Waseem Ahmed, before the registration of cases of financial corruption in the NICL on the order of the Supreme Court, the staff officer had told him to wait because the director-general was in a meeting with his neighbour named Amin Qasim Dada. He said that he could not forget the name since it was unusual. He said when the cases were registered on the orders of the Supreme Court, he once again recalled this name and he called Director Lahore Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, adding that he intended to mention this event and to offer him his services for the arrest of the accused.

He said that he had been asked to provide Waseem Ahmed’s arrival and departure records from Karachi after his appointment as DG FIA and the distance between the houses of Waseem Ahmed and Amin Qasim Dada.

Ansari told that the FIA had conducted several raids for the arrest of Amin Qasim Dada, adding that sooner or later, they would be successful.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2011.


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