JIT allegation likely to be endorsed by FIA probe team
The allegation of record tampering charges on Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which was investigated by The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team constituted by the Supreme Court, the FIA is likely to endorse the allegation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case.
After the allegation of JIT that the SEC’s records have been tampered with, an FIA probe team had been formed by the apex court.
The JIT, which has been investigating the offshore wealth and money laundering allegations against the ruling family, had submitted a report to the Supreme Court Panama Papers’ implementation bench in which it alleged that the SECP had tampered with the record regarding the sugar mills which were owned by the Sharif family.
A FIA team which comprises four members had been constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the JIT.
According to a source close to the FIA probe team the probe had almost been completed by the panel and was in the process of penning down the findings of the inquiry.
According to the source “During the forensic analysis of the computer records of the SECP, the FIA team has found the JIT allegation correct and the team has decided to endorse the JIT’s point of view.” According to a senior officer of the FIA who was aware of the development, while wishing anonymity, he said that the FIA probe team had restricted itself to the scope of the investigation to the paragraph written by JIT in its progress report pointing out that the SECP record had been tampered with.
In the paragraph the JIT while quoting a source had said that while investigating into the money laundering case against Chaudhry Sugar Mills, which was owned by Sharif family, the investigation had been verbally dropped by the SECP in 2013, however the case had been closed backdated in 2016. The officer added “The FIA has found that the note was put on the file of the case backdated in 2016.”
Statements of SECP officers which include its Chairman Zafar Hijazi have been recorded by the FIA in the case. Director of SECP Maheen Fatima in a statement which was submitted to the FIA had alleged that the backdated note had been put on an official file in 2016 after pressure from the incumbent SECP chairman.
The team of FIA has been headed by the agency’s Anti-Corruption Wing Director Maqsoodul Hasan and comprised of deputy directors Hazrat Ali, Ayaz Khan and Tahir Tanvir.
On the other hand the SECP Chairman Hijazi through an official statement had distanced himself from tampering with the record and said that “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.” He further added.
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