Moonis and Qureshi hog the limelight NICL scam key accused go scot-free
LAHORE: The process to bring the main culprits back from London has come to a halt, as the multi-billion National Insurance Corporation Limited scam has been confined to accused Moonis Elahi and investigation officer Zafar Qureshi.
The Federal Investigation Agency a couple of months ago issued red warrants for the main accused of the scam — Mohsin Habib Warraich and Amin Qasim Dada, member of the NICL board of directors who allegedly brokered the deal and requested the British authorities for their extradition. The agency had also written to UKs Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in this regard, but the entire process has now come to a halt.
“We have not pursued bringing Warraich, Dada and Syed Javed back to the country since the start of a tug of war between the government and the superior judiciary over Mr Qureshi’s reinstatement in the FIA,” a senior FIA official told Dawn on Friday.
“It is unfortunate that no efforts are being made to arrest the main characters of the scam, as it has turned out to be a battle between Elahi and Qureshi,” the official said.
The PML-Q complains that the way the NICL case is being dealt with gives the impression that the scam revolves around Elahi in spite of the fact that he is only accused of receiving Rs320 million of the multi-billion scam. “Why the agency is not going after the main accused?” the PML-Q asks.
According to the FIRs, Mohsin Habib Warraich’s company Messrs Privilege purchased 803 kanal land from the NICL at Mauza Toor in Lahore against Rs1.68 billion in February last year. The corporation allegedly sold the land without getting it mutated in its favour.
In the other case, the NICL sold the land measuring 20 kanal at Lahore airport Road to Warraich for Rs1.7 billion. It sold the land at the rate of Rs53 million per kanal though its market value was much higher, thus, causing a loss of Rs915 million to the exchequer. The FIA has so far arrested 13 people, including former NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi.
Interestingly, Zafar Qureshi had summoned the Transparency International Pakistan chairman in connection with the probe into the NICL scam. The FIA wanted to quiz him on the statement of Niazi, who claimed that Dada had told him and other members that the TI chairman wanted to sign an agreement with it regarding award of contracts in the proposed project and in return he would give a ‘clean chit’ about the shoddy deal.
The tug of war also kept the agency from investigating a powerful politician of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party for his ‘share’ in the scam.