Insurance scam probe in Pakistan turns into personal feud

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD - The investigation into the multi-billion rupee scam in Pakistan’s National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) has now turned into a personal battle between the investigation officer and the family of the accused.

The government had appointed Zafar Qureshi, additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), to investigate the Rs.10 billion fraud in the NICL.

Initial investigations revealed that Moonis Elahi, son of former Punjab chief minister Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, received more than Rs.400 million under bogus bank accounts, while Mohsin Warraich, son of former federal minister Habibullah Warraich, sold his land to the NICL at a price several times higher than the market value.

The FIA has already arrested Warraich, while Elahi is on the run and believed to be in Britain at present.

It declared Moonis a proclaimed offender and has sought help from Interpol to bring him back to the country.

Qureshi, considered to be one of the most upright officers in Pakistani police, was removed midway through the probe by the government but was reappointed on the orders of the supreme court.

The family of Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), has sent a Rs.50 million defamation notice to Qureshi for including the name of Moonis in the case.

“You have tarnished the image of our political party,” said the legal notice without mentioning the merits of the case in any manner.

Qureshi Thursday appeared before the supreme court and pleaded that he was receiving threats to his life for investigating the case, Geo TV reported.

“If any harm comes to me or my family, the Chaudhary and Warraich families will be responsible,” he said, adding that hurdles were being created in the discharge of his official duties.

The supreme court directed the government to provide complete security to Qureshi and adjourned the case till the next hearing.

The NICL, a national asset of Pakistan, was economically affected when lavish properties were bought across the country and in Dubai during the tenure of then president Pervez Musharraf.

Filed under: India

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