KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Tariq Mehmood, a former Senior Preventive Superintendent (SPS) of the Customs Department, for allegedly laundering money obtained from crime and corruption and buying properties and assets by facilitating smugglers.
According to the FIR, Tariq Mehmood received Rs50.88 million in his account at Habib Metro Bank through cash deposits from different individuals, whose identities and sources of income are not known. He also transferred substantial amounts from his account to the accounts of his children, who have no legitimate earning resources of their own. He purchased a residential property in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Phase-IV in the name of his wife and a Kia Sportage vehicle in the name of his brother, using the proceeds of his illegal activities.
The FIA is investigating the case with the help of other agencies and claims that the entire scam is going in the right direction. However, the investigation has faced some hurdles and interference from a BS-20 officer of the Customs Department, who is the primary accused of the scam and has tried to destroy the evidence and influence the witnesses.
One of the key witnesses in the case is Imran Noorani, a smuggler who was arrested by the FIA and has given a statement implicating several officers of the Customs Department in the smuggling racket. However, the BS-20 officer has allegedly manipulated Noorani’s statement and got added the names of some officers who were not involved in the case, such as Rana Tasleem and Amjad Rajper, who were posted in different departments at that time and had no connection with the smuggling operations.
An official of the FIA, who requested anonymity, said that the BS-20 officer has done this to hurt the credibility of the case and to protect himself and his accomplices, as everyone knows that Rana Tasleem and Amjad Rajper are honest and upright officers who have cracked down on smuggling in their respective domains. The official also said that Deputy Collector Muhammad Tariq, who is also named in the FIR, has not been involved in any dirty dealings and is innocent.
The official expressed his fear that when these officers appear in court, they will be found not guilty and acquitted, thus raising a question mark on the entire case and letting the real culprits go scot-free. He recalled a similar incident in the past, when then Member Customs Hafiz Anees had turned the genuine Afghan Transit NATO Cargo case into a ‘mob’ and suspended a lot of officers who had nothing to do with the case, thus destroying the entire case. The case was eventually shelved and forgotten.