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National

WD
Web Desk
February 10, 2011

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Govt moves to recover Rs9 bn Pak Steel money

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has directed Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) to issue notices to over 900 private dealers and distributors for recovery of Rs9 billion, alleged to be fraudulently taken by them from the state entity, it is reliably learnt.
The audit of the PSM affairs uncovered this mega fraud. The Supreme Court is seized with the matter and has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to proceed against the guilty persons with the purpose of taking back the public money and punishing them.
The SC also ordered the federal industries secretary to go to Karachi and take a concrete action in this connection.An informed source told The News that it was decided in a high level meeting, chaired by the industries secretary and attended by FIA Karachi director Moazzam Jah Ansari that the PSM should immediately issue notices to over 900 dealers and distributors of its inventory in order to get back the money.
The FIA has registered nearly four-dozen FIRs (first information reports) against these distributors and dealers. “However, there has been no worthwhile progress towards recovering the money from them for different reasons,” the source said.
He said that a cruel twist of the story is that while the investigation has been pending with the FIA, the PSM has been issuing no-demand certificates to the distributors and dealers, which led to bailing out of some of them by Karachi courts, where their cases are pending disposal.
However, the PSM holds the view that if the FIA continues to proceed against the dealers and distributors and if it did not issue no-demand certificates to them, they would not pick up its inventory any more that would ultimately inflict a huge loss on it.
The source said the PSM has been told to put forward this argument before the Supreme Court, which has assigned the investigation to the FIA into the Rs9 billion scandal.To a question that it would not look ridiculous on the part of the PSM to issue notices,

as directed by the government, to the dealers and distributors whom it has previously given no-demand certificates, and it would not ultimately weaken the cases in subordinate courts, the source said it would depend upon the FIA investigation and their pursuing in courts by it. But he admitted that the earlier issuance of no-demand certificates and serving of notices now would create complications in the prosecution.
The source said that on its part, the FIA Karachi would inform the apex court on Feb 23 about the decision of the Karachi meeting and its insistence on the PSM to issue recovery notices to the dealers and distributors.
He said that the investigation into the case against the detained former chairman of the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), Ayaz Niazi, for the purchase of 27,429 square feet office space in the Liberty Town Dubai for over Rs1.7 billion was not yet final.
The source said that the FIA Karachi was trying to ascertain the real value of this property and has also approached the Interpol Dubai in this connection. He said it was clear that the property’s value was not what the NICL had paid.
Meanwhile, the FIA Karachi has not so far been successful in arresting the absconding former NICL Director, Amin Qasim Dada, who is required in the NICL scam. “A lot of things would crystallize after his arrest,” an official said, adding that the FIA Karachi has sent a chart to its counterpart in Lahore, showing that at least 20 raids have so far been conducted on the residences of Amin Qasim Dada and his close relatives to catch hold of him. FIA Lahore officials were part of the raiding party at least twice, he said.

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