ISLAMABAD - Amid mystery shrouding the whereabouts of two high profile accused in ephedrine scam including former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Musa Gilani and Federal Minister for Textile Shahabuddin, ANF raiding team on Sunday arrested chief executive officer (CEO) of Friend’s Pharmaceutical Company and recovered large amounts of ephedrine from his possession.
An official of ANF confirmed to TheNation on Sunday that ANF raiding team had arrested Nadeem Zafar, chief executive of Friend’s Pharmaceutical Company, which managed to obtain quota of ephedrine (500 Kg of ephedrine) illegally. Anti-Narcotics Force had registered an FIR against accused involved in ephedrine drug scam including Nadeem Zafar on 25th July this year. Nadeem was facing charges of obtaining 500 Kg ephedrine illegally. A portion of substance, said the sources, had also been recovered from Friend’s Pharmaceutical Company.
Well-placed sources told TheNation that ANF would produce the accused before court on Monday (today) to get remand. Officials said that search operations were being conducted for others wanted in the case.
A well placed source told TheNation that Nadeem had revealed during preliminary investigations that his company could only manage to obtain 500 Kg of ephedrine with the help of some mightiest and influential people.
Official sources told this scribe on Sunday that ANF raiding team was facing much trouble to trace and arrest Musa Gilani and Makhdoom Shahabuddin. Both have been accused of using their influence to get illegal quotas of ephedrine to pharmaceutical companies of their choice.
Musa, the son of former premier Gilani and Shahabuddin were accused of pressuring officials of the health ministry in 2010 to allocate huge quotas of controlled chemical ephedrine to two different pharmaceutical companies. Both accused could be arrested anytime as the raiding team of ANF was vigorously raiding suspected places to arrest him, sources said on Sunday.
“Although, raiding team is facing multiple problems including bureaucratic hurdles in arresting Musa and Shahabuddin, ANF is continuously raiding suspected places to arrest the prime accused Musa Gilani in the ephedrine quota scam. Although, we are facing some problems in arresting him, however, we expect to get hold of both of the accused soon,” an official of Anti-Narcotics Force told TheNation.
The ephedrine quota scam involves the violation of rules while awarding a contract to import 9,000-kg ephedrine to two companies allegedly under the influence of Ali Musa Gilani while, Shahabuddin, as a federal Minister of Health approved the quota. This substance is used to synthesise medicines for cold, flu and asthma but is also used in some dangerous drugs as heroin.
The matter was raised in the National Assembly in 2009 and the then health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin had formed a committee to give recommendations. Following the directives of Supreme Court, which ordered a free and fair probe, the ANF quizzed Musa Gilani last month, but he denied the allegations levelled against him and assured the investigation team of his readiness to cooperate. However, presently he has gone into hiding.