ISLAMABAD - The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Thursday told a Senate panel that the looted money amounting to billions of rupees was still being transferred from Pakistan to the bank accounts of UAE and Malaysia, but the probe agency had no access to such accounts.
FIA Additional Director General Khaild Qureshi told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that the agency had the knowledge that the money collected through corruption was being transferred from Pakistan to UAE and Malaysia, but the foreign banks did not give access or details to the anti-corruption agencies to scrutinise such accounts. “The financial system of the world supports the banking system and not the anti-corruption watchdogs,” he added.
Qureshi also said the FIA had also taken up three big cases of corruption with the foreign countries to bring back to the country the main accused, including Farhan Junejo, involved in the EOBI scam, Asim Maik of Future Concern, an accused in the visa scandal and Mohsin Habib Warraich, one of the NICL scam accused.
While giving a briefing to the committee, FIA DG Ghalib Ali Bandesha said the agency was investigating the record of 21 flats in Abu Dhabi Tower, Islamabad, allegedly owned by former CDA chairman Farkhand Iqbal.
The FIA DG added two enquiries were in progress against the former CDA chairman while he had also been booked for allotment of 12 plots in Sector I-8 to Housing Foundation over and above the quota, in violation of the rules. “In one of the enquiries, the FIA is investigating the allegation against him for granting waiver of CDA dues amounting to Rs 50 million for additional storeys to Messrs Al-Sadiq in Abu-Dhabi Towers. The other probe is being made into allegations of acquiring over 1,000 kanals of land in the Fateh Jhang area,” he revealed.
The FIA DG said they had also traced nine properties in the name of Farkhand Iqbal or his close family members that were bought during the period when he was the CDA chief. “The FIA has also detected 10 accounts of Farkhand Iqbal and his family members, having millions of rupees, apparently beyond his known sources of income,” he further revealed. The FIA DG assured the committee of giving enough opportunity to the ex-chairman of CDA to clarify his position.
The committee directed the DG to probe allegations of irregularities against the CDA authorities concerning the under-construction Grand Hayat Hotel in Islamabad. He was also asked to probe another complaint of corruption amounting to Rs 180 million against Pakistan Baitul Maal Assistant Director Sohail Zaidi, besides investigating a complaint of corruption in the Auqaf Department of the ICT.
The DG told the committee that the government had given approval to fill 50 percent vacant posts in FIA in view the shortage of the strength, adding the recruitment process would start soon.
The Senate committee formed a body comprising the FIA DG and other officials of the Ministry of Interior to submit a report within a month on the urgent requirements of the agency to improve its efficiency. Former interior minister Rehman Malik endorsed that FIA lacked resources and it should be strengthened in terms of money and powers.
The Senate committee chairman, Talha Mahmood, raising serious questions on the working of Nadra, said the authority had registered a number of foreigners illegally and issued CNICs to them, posing a security threat to the country. “According to my information, Nadra has issued Pakistani ID cards to one million foreigners while, according to the reports of intelligence agencies, the number of the foreigners getting Pakistani national ID cards illegally is 2 million to 2.5 million,” he remarked. He alleged the Nadra officials were involved in corruption.
The committee took serious notice that Nadra was not verifying thumb impressions of the voters cast in the May 2013 general elections despite a clear order of the Supreme Court and was adopting dilly-dallying tactics. Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassani said that a verification case of his constituency in district Chaghi, Balochistan, had been lying pending with the authority for more than four months. He warned he would go to the Supreme Court if Nadra did not respond to it. The committee directed the Nadra authorities to verify the thumb impressions in the light of the SC direction without any delay.
Acting IGP Khalid Khattak conceded before the committee that crime rate had increased in the capital in the last year as compared to that in the previous ones. Giving details, he said the ICT police registered 8,098 FIRs in 2013. The acting IG did not give further details, saying they wanted to give an in-camera briefing on the desire of the interior minister as some official data of the police could not be made public.
The committee recommended that the scanners imported from China should be given to the Customs officials as they were useless for detection of explosive materials.
The committee directed Nadra to give a difference in price in 2009 and 2014 of the security cameras and other equipment being bought from a Chinese company for the safe city project. Nadra DG Tahir Akram said the government had renegotiated with the company and now 2,025 cameras were being bought from the company at the same total price of the project already agreed. Earlier, the Chinese firm was to provide 1,500 security cameras to be installed in various areas of the capital.
The committee recommended that the compensation package for those killed and injured in the fruit and vegetable market blast should be doubled.