Monday August 15, 2022

FIA probe into Rs10bn theft at PSM under way

August 05, 2022

KARACHI: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated an inquiry against alleged theft incidents worth Rs10 billion as the Ministry of Industries and Production approached the agency’s director general after an official spilt the beans regarding organized theft incidents causing huge losses to the institution.

Ironically, the engineer, who brought the theft incidents into the limelight, was shown the door by the PSM management. Dr Farooq, the chief of Cooperate Crime Circle of the FIA, which is entrusted with the responsibility to conduct the inquiry, confirmed THE News that the inquiry had been initiated, adding, “The inquiry will be completed within the stipulated time.”

Earlier on July 18, the ministry wrote a letter to the director general of FIA, stating that A-AXN, CMD/Security PSM Engineer Abdul Rehman had brought the theft incidents into the knowledge of the chief executive officer PSM through an official channel informing him of various theft incident in almost all departments at the main plant of PSM.

The ministry’s letter to the FIA, a copy of which is available to The News, quoted the Engineer Abdul Rehman to have reported the CEO PSM that senior officers from PSM administration were involved in theft cases valuing around Rs10 billion, adding that the theft cases at main plant was impossible without the involvement of the security department.

He claimed that he possessed enough evidence regarding involvement of the officers of PSM in the illegal acts and added that he would hand over the evidence to the FIA. The letter further stated that an inquiry into the theft allegations was initiated by the PSM. However, the allegations were of serious nature and the integrity of the PSM management was in question.

A fair and transparent investigation in the case is needed. In view of such allegations, the DG FIA is requested to conduct a speedy inquiry into the allegations to unearth the real culprits behind the theft incidents, read the letter.

Though the FIA has begun the inquiry, Secretary General Pakistan Steel Insaf Labor Union (CBA) Abdur Razzak was not optimistic about any positive outcome as he told The News, “no particle action was taken by the agency during the probe of the theft incidents.”

He added theft incidents were a matter of routine in the PSM but they were taking place with impunity in an organised way in collusion with the senior officials from the management and the security.

Ironically, the PSM official, who had highlighted the theft incidents, was dismissed from the service a day after the ministry requested the DG FIA to conduct the probe. “I wrote a letter to the CEO PSM on June 15, 2022, the ministry requested FIA to conduct the inquiry on July 18, and I was dismissed from service on July 19,” Abdul Rehman told The News.