Karachi: Recovery agent held in defaulter’s suicide case
KARACHI: Police on Friday arrested a suspect in a loan recovery case that involved the death of a bank defaulter, a few hours after the case was lodged at New Karachi police station.
Twenty-six-year-old Muhammad Tufail was under immense stress as he had defaulted on a loan. He committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan on April 27 evening after a bank’s recovery team visited his house in the afternoon.
Official sources confirmed that the suspected team leader, Atif, nominated in the FIR (89/2008), had been arrested. However, they said he was not ‘a direct employee’ of the commercial bank but a ‘recovery agent’ who offered services on a commission basis.
“Such people can go to any extent for the recovery of the defaulted amount to win their share,” said a senior police official. He said “The same method seemed to be applied in this case, too, which caused the defaulter to commit suicide. But it’s too early to arrive at any conclusion as it needs complete investigations that may take time.”
The official said the New Karachi police station registered the first information report on a complaint of the deceased’s mother, Akbari Begum, under Sections 504 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which regulate punishment for such a crime.
Section 504 of the PPC defines ‘intentional insult with intent to provoke the peace,’ with maximum punishment, ‘which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.’
However, Section 506 of the PPC, which prescribes punishment for criminal intimidation, defines more rigorous imprisonment for the culprit.
“And if threat be to cause death of grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years,” elaborates the PPC.
The area police expect more leads with the disclosure of the names of the suspect’s accomplices during the course of investigations, which may lead to further arrests.
The family members of the deceased said that the bank’s recovery team that visited the house on Sunday had humiliated the elders and misbehaved with his (Tufail’s) younger sister in his absence. The team, led by Atif, also allegedly made serious threats, which the family members said included kidnapping of the defaulter’s sister.
Father of a 40-day-old baby girl, Tufail ran an LPG shop in the vicinity, which the family sources said, was not operating at a profit. Following the team’s visit, he committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his rented house.
The incident caused uproar in the Senate when members of the Muttahida Quami Movement raised the issue during the question hour and demanded the registration of a criminal case against the bank’s team as well as a complete inquiry. The city police chief, who set up an inquiry committee to probe the issue, believes that the case needs a thorough investigation to reach the incident’s cause.
“The way banks attempt to recover defaulted amount is not clear and it should be seen on a continuous basis,” Capital City Police Officer Sultan Salahuddin Babar Khattak told Dawn.
“The State Bank of Pakistan regulates the way banks operate and run their business but if there would be any threat or use of illegal means involved it would be taken as a crime. That’s why we have ordered the inquiry and are moving forward with the investigations,” he added.
He said that police responded to the complaint of the deceased’s mother and registered the case and the suspect’s arrest suggested some progress in the case
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.