Data tampering allegations: FIA to conduct forensic analysis of SECP record

FIA will conduct a forensic investigation of the SECP records

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Data tampering allegations: FIA to conduct forensic analysis of SECP record

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided that in order to verify the record tampering allegations the team probing allegations of record tampering against high ups of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has decided to conduct forensic analysis of the relevant record.

The team of FIA team has not concluded the inquiry, and it will take some time to complete the probe as the team has decided to conduct forensic analysis of the commission’s online data as well as files which contain the record of the inquiry regarding Chaudhry Sugar Mills which is owned by the Sharif family.

Number of officials belonging to the SECP have had their statements recorded in front of FIA. A senior official of the agency commented that the FIA has collected oral evidence, however keeping in view the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the agency to hold an inquiry, the team will have to hold a forensic analysis of the record.

FIA is holding an investigation into the allegations against the SECP that the money-laundering probe initiated by the commission against Chaudhry Sugar Mills in 2011 was verbally closed in 2013 but it was closed in files in 2016 backdated.

An FIA team comprising of four-members was constituted before Eidul Fitr to probe the allegations which were leveled by the joint investigation team (JIT) in which they had said that the SECP was involved in tampering the record regarding money trail of the assets of the Sharif family.

The JIT had levelled these allegations in its report which was submitted to the Supreme Court bench which is overseeing the implementation of the Panama case verdict and the apex court had ordered the FIA to probe charges against the SECP chairman and its directors.

The team which is headed by the agency’s Anti-Corruption Wing Director Maqsoodul Hasan also comprises deputy directors Hazrat Ali, Ayaz Khan and Tahir Tanvir.

Meanwhile, the SECP chairman has also recorded his statement before the FIA.

SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi in an official statement said “I have explained my position to the FIA team, which was also reflected to some extent in a section of press. Since the inquiry proceedings are continuing, I am not supposed to give any version publicly. However, once the inquiry would be completed, I will definitely explain my position publicly to my countrymen. Here I would merely say that anti-money laundering proceedings and the proceeding under Section 263 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 are entirely different matters and should not be mixed.

He further added, secondly, a head of any organisation cannot suppose to be aware of any deficiencies or short comings in a particular case file nor he can be considered responsible for any such deficiency or wrong doing.

If this precedent of allowing subordinates to apportion blame for their omissions or wrong doings is allowed to be set, every subordinate officer may attribute his failings to the heads of organisation, Hijazi in his statement said. Hijarzi while pointing towards some media statements that a senior officer of the SECP had admitted before the JIT that he tampered with the record of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills under pressure from the chairman.

In addition to that, Fawad Chaudhry, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said that the “reports of tampering of the SECP’s record was a matter of serious concern and those involved in this heinous crime must be dragged to the dock of law.”

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