Nowshera: Owner, managers of travel agency arrested
NOWSHERA: After freezing seven bank accounts of Aqeel Travel Agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Wednesday arrested its owner and two managers and shifted them to Peshawar for further interrogation. Sources said that Abdul Aqeel, owner of Aqeel Tarvel Agency, allegedly swindled Rs90 million from 407 persons of Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar districts on the pretext of sending them to Haj. Probing one of the biggest money scams against the travel agency, the NAB succeeded in apprehending the owner Aqeel and his two managers identified as Asif and Zahid and shifted them to Peshawar.
Sources said during the preliminary investigation, the accused confessed to have swindled more than Rs50 million from the people who had been assured of sending to Saudi Arabia for Haj through a Canadian NGO run by Christina Diana. He told the investigators that he had given Rs20 million out of Rs50 million to Christina Diana through one Naveed of Kohat district.
When the fraud came to limelight through press, the owner and his associates went underground to avoid arrest. The sources said he (the owner) was earlier taken hostage by one Yousaf, the owner of the Swat Travels, as Aqeel had also fiddled Rs5.2 million from him.
It was learnt that the papers confiscated from office of Aqeel Travel Agency, indicated that Christina Diana, a Canadian national, were fake and the Canadian embassy in Islamabad had no record.