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April 23, 2020

Counterattack by officer removed by sugar commission

April 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The FIA official removed by the Sugar Commission on Tuesday for his alleged hobnobbing with the sugar industry has written a detailed letter to FIA DG Wajid Zia on Wednesday raising some serious questions on the working of the Commission itself.

The officer, while denying the charges levelled against him, said his effort to look into the role of FBR and SECP in connection with his probe invited the ire of Commission members belonging to these organisations. He lamented that despite his past work and repute, he has been defamed by leaking “misleading” information to the media.

According to the letter, shared with The News by an Interior Ministry source, the officer said that the Commission was constituted to bring the fact and real causes, which contributed to the rise of sugar price and involvement of the companies in parallel documentation/sale/purchase of its products. Therefore, he wrote a few letters to the chief of staff to FIA DG on different dates, which disturbed the other commission members who saw it as favour to the sugar mills.

The officer said that he tried to get information from the FBR, and SBP of export to Afghanistan, highlighted the apprehensions of fake export to Afghanistan and requested for the information which is still awaited and that information was not hidden by the undersigned instead relevant departments failed to reply as yet.

In addition to that, he said, he examined the company record and prepared a comprehensive spreadsheet for all details of export of sugar to Afghanistan including number of Pakistani trucks, name of drivers and name of Afghan trucks as per Pakistan Customs documents but the required information is still awaited.

He claimed when the team visited the site at Ghotki, it came to their notice that FBR did not prescribe any record keeping for the sugar mills, therefore, he wrote the letter for FBR which irritated the FBR whereas Dr Bashirullah, member of the commission, expressed categorically through a WhatsApp message,“ this letter was not taken in good spirit by FBR”.

He added that he explained to Dr Bashirullah that it was not intended to hurt any department. “Unfortunately, all my fair exercises to reach to the just conclusion and recommendations were taken as negative by the commission member and chairman of the commission without any justification,” he said.

The officer added that then he wrote another letter for the provision of information from SECP about any investigations conducted by the SECP to determine the role of SECP in regulating the affairs of sugar industry but reply is still awaited. This letter was also taken as very offensive which was intended to get the information about the role of SECP.

According to the officer’s letter, yesterday (Tuesday) around 17:31 hours, he was called by the FIA DG and when appeared before him two other members of the commission Ahmad Kamal and Gohar Nafees were also present there.

During the meeting, the document says, the FIA DG told the officer that the former had an IB report against the officer conveying that he was in contact with the management of the sugar mill he was assigned for forensic audit.

The FIA DG also told him, the document said, that he had also helped the sugar mill during the forensic audit. The officer was also told that he had contacts and meetings with the mill staff and he was found helping them.

“At this I categorically denied such allegations as frivolous and stated that I had contacts with the Admn Manager because I used to go to the company’s office on daily basis to conduct audit and to collect necessary information along with other members of the team whereas I had only one meeting with sales Incharge of the company when I recorded his statement,” the document quoted the officer telling the DG. The officer than confronted the FIA DG and sought any evidence of his phone conversation or any personal conversation with any of the company owner or employees having such objectionable conversation. He said he was not shared any such transcripts or recording.

The officer, according to the letter, told the FIA DG that he worked with full devotion and dedication despite the fact that he has severe pollen allergy besides facing logistic problems. He said that he requested for the attachment staff, which was not provided since three days ago.

He said that he visited the factory site and head office of the sugar mill, collected almost all required document and data from the company, dealers, commission agents, and seized all important registers etc which deemed necessary to unearth the facts. He said he prepared data and briefed the commission as well.

Cybercrime team of CCW, Karachi was attached with the undersigned and that team seized all necessary equipment, and was analysing the data.

Regarding the delay in the collection of documents or evidence, he said that absolutely there has been no such delay. He, however, said that there was a delay in forensic of digital media but that was not on officer’s part as the team doing the work was from Karachi and the officer had categorically warned the DG about the reputation of certain cybercrime officers who were added to the forensic teams.

Regarding the allegation that required information was not being fed by him, he said it a baseless allegation and just contrary to the facts. He insisted that he along with his team members obtained maximum information and conveyed to the commission.