ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday called for no further action at the present stage into alleged money laundering case against Moonis Elahi in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam after an investigation report submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) could not establish any criminal proceeds into his bank accounts.
The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry dictated its order after FIA Director Legal Azam Khan presented a report furnished by the investigation team.
However, the court directed him to submit a comprehensive report over the recovery of Rs 420 million from Mohsin Warraich. The bench resumed hearing of a suo motu case regarding embezzlement of billion of rupees in NICL.
During the course of the proceedings, Khan apprised the bench that the investigation team probing the money laundering allegations, could not establish anything illegal with Moonis’ two accounts, one in Pakistan and the other in United Kingdom. He apprised the bench that Moonis had about ₤1.1 million in the UK account whereas 90 million remittances took place through the PFG bank in the UK. He also read out the contents of the report regarding correspondence with the Serious Organised Crimes Agency (SOCA) in the UK and Interpol. The chief justice observed that the FIA should exercise extra care while proceeding in such like cases as the people had their private businesses and they could not go into it. He said by backing out of its stance before the SOCA for want of evidence, the FIA had caused damage to Moonis. About foreign remittances, he remarked that such transactions could not be questioned rather it should be encouraged to strengthen the country’s economy and referred to the Economic Reforms Act of 1998.
While on recovery of Rs 420 million from Mohsin Warraich, Khan said under an agreement between the NICL and Akram Warraich, Mohsin’s uncle, property worth the amount was mortgaged under five years term but the NICL refused to accept it in the trial court. The NICL wanted payment in cash and Akram paid cheques but the first one bounced upon which the FIR was lodged on June 20, he added. To a bench’s query, he replied that the agreement was not in accordance with laws.
Expressing his displeasure, the chief justice questioned as to why the progress in the case was lingering on? He asked FIA Lahore Director Waqar Haider as to why he was not taking any action for recovery of the amount when there was no agreement between parties as pointed out by Azam Khan. “Our interest should be that each and every penny of this amount is recovered as it belonged to the public and the country,” he added.
About cooperation from NAB over the issue, Azam said that they constantly continued correspondence with the Bureau. About extradition of Mohsin Warraich, the FIA officer told that he was still an absconder. The FIA had issued Red Warrants but the government of Pakistan had no extradition treaty with the UK. The chief justice told him that by cancelling his passport, he would be automatically deported to Pakistan.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that the efforts required for bringing Mohsin back were not made and questioned as to why the accused person was accommodated so much which was a matter of concern for them. The chief justice observed that the 803 kanals of land had not been mortgaged and reminded the FIA officials that by showering undue favours upon someone, they did bring harm unto themselves. Owais Ahmed, counsel for Mohsin Warraich, appeared and apprised the bench that he had talked to his client and he was willing to return back. The CJP told him that Warraich should surrender before law of the country and first return the amount. The bench also repeated notices to Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, former Establishment Division secretary and others in contempt issue regarding transfer of former additional director Zafar Ahmed Qureshi and adjourned hearing for three weeks.