KARACHI: Two accused including one Waseem Mota, alleged main character in a smuggling scam on M/s Khurram Steel which is now under investigations by NAB, have been released after they entered into plea bargain with the NAB authorities.
According to a source, Waseem was subjected to torture and forced to pay money to investigators. He allegedly paid Rs10 million to get off the hook. No FIR is registered and the case is still under investigations, Shaukat Hayat advocate told Ashfar-ur-Rehman News Editor Customnews.pk. No reference is filed so far, he added.
According to sources five of the accused are in custody including Haji Idrees, Nasir, Kashif and others. Kashif was asked to pay Rs130 million for settlement of the case. As he was unable to pay such money, he was remanded to the judicial custody, sources said.
Why Waseem Mota and another accused were admitted to plea bargain at such an initial stage where investigations are going on and when no FIR is registered so far is a potent question. The reference will be filed after or before expiry of 90 days mandatory period, sources said adding that NAB chairman has made a categorical statement that cases pertaining to FBR, tax or duty evasion will be out of the domain of the NAB but action by NAB in the instant case proves otherwise.
An official said the accused was involved in evasion of billions of rupees, but NAB only recovered Rs10 million. An official said there were rumors that NAB made under the table deal with Mota.
The fate of the scam worth billions will be known on Sept 25 when the accused in custody will be produced before the Accountability Court at Karachi.
Meanwhile, NAB has summoned one Principal Appraiser and four Appraising Officers in relation to the investigations regarding clearance of high value goods in the garb of used clothing case.
These officials include PA Abdul Qayyum, AOs Azhar Abbas, Khurram Rafique, Azghar Meerani and Aamir Hussain.
It may be mentioned here that NAB Sindh has already obtained warrants and approval from Chairman NAB Javed Iqbal to call or arrest officers and officials of Customs in relation to the ongoing investigations.
According to Customs Appraisers Officers Association, NAB should investigate the facility of green channel to identify those involved in patronizing the scam from PRAL and senior officers including a senior Customs officer who interfered in the work of Appraisers and Pas.
An office bearer said certain senior officers interfered in the work of assessment staff in past and through verbal orders barred the staff from calling documents and conducting examination of consignments.