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Sunday June 23, 2024

FIA put on notice on plea seeking registration of FIR in investment fraud case

By Jamal Khurshid
April 21, 2024
The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website
The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and others on a petition seeking registration of a case against officials of a government-owned bank and others in an investment fraud case.

The petitioner, Dr Zahra Gauhar, had submitted in the petition that she had complained to the FIA for registration of an FIR against officials of the government-owned bank for letting logo of the bank and its premises be used by a foreign unregistered company for investment purposes.

She submitted that officials took billions of rupees of investment from more than three thousand investors, including her, by showing the bank’s name and logo and it was also using the main branches of the bank for its business purposes, which was a clear and open violation of the rules of the State Bank of Pakistan.

The petitioner submitted that the FIA initiated an inquiry into the matter but despite the lapse of one year, the matter was not expanded to the anti-money laundering circle in the general public’s interest.

She submitted that despite several reminders to high-ups of the FIA, no official response was being given to the petitioner with regard to the registration of an FIR.

She submitted that directors of the government-owned bank also without due diligence illegally allowed the use of the bank’s name in violation of the banking companies ordinance and also allowed the use of the bank premises.

The petitioner submitted that the FIA took strict action in many matters related to banks but in the instant matter, it had negligently and purposely delayed action against the culprit board of directors (BoD) members who were involved in the commission of international cheating, fraud and money laundering by granting illegal permission for the use of a similar banking name, logo and premises of a federal government bank to a non-banking finance company.

The high court was requested to direct to the FIA to register a case against BoD members and private finance company and submit a progress report.

After a preliminary hearing of the petition, the SHC issued notices to the interior secretary, FIA and others and called their comments on May 3.