Saturday September 23, 2023

FIA officer remanded to jail in money laundering case

By Our Correspondent
May 04, 2021

A local court on Monday remanded a deputy director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to jail in judicial custody in a case pertaining to money laundering after he complained of maltreatment at the hands of the agency.

The judicial magistrate (South) sent Abdul Ghaffar to jail and sought a charge sheet from the investigating officer of the case within two weeks. The suspect was produced in the court by the FIA on the expiry of his physical remand.

At the outset of the hearing, the IO moved an application in the court seeking an extension in the physical remand of the suspect, saying that the investigation was yet to be completed. He said that the suspect was not cooperating with the investigators and had not yet submitted his mobile phone for a forensic examination, as it was a crucial evidence against him.

Ghaffar, on the other hand, complained that he was being tortured in the FIA’s custody, claiming that he had contracted the coronavirus twice since his arrest. He said that the agency wanted to keep him in custody in a bid to pressurise him.

He had previously said that he was being victimised for not following the “illegal” orders of his superiors against some other officers, while his attorney had argued that his client’s arrest was illegal because he was already on bail in a similar case.

According to the FIA, the suspect had extended undue favour to software company ABTACH in an inquiry against it in return for a bribe during his posting as the incharge of the Cyber Crime Reporting Centre Karachi.

The agency said that the investigation had ascertained that an amount of Rs14 million was paid in illegal gratification, out of which Rs4 million was handed over to a woman in Lahore on January 25, while Rs10 million was given to a man in the same city three days later.

The FIA added that an investigation was under way to trace the money that was allegedly funnelled through various accounts on the directives of the suspect. The agency said that the person who dispatched the money was being held as a witness, adding that the facts constituted the commission of offences under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.