NICL chief asks FIA to reopen high-profile property purchase scam | Pakistan Today

NICL chief asks FIA to reopen high-profile property purchase scam

ISLAMABAD: Following the revelations in a high-profile property purchase scam involving the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), CEO Captain (retd) Jamil Akhtar Khan has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to reopen the billion rupees worth case.

Sources in the commerce ministry informed your correspondent that the NICL chief asked the FIA for a probe following a new valuation report by Land Sterling – a British chartered surveyor and property consultant that provides valuation services for commercial and residential property in the Middle East and North Africa.

They said the courts were misled to save some high-profile figures of the company (NICL).

The report available with Pakistan Today disclosed that the NICL had purchased property in Dubai some eight years ago and paid an amount 159 per cent above the market value.

The Dubai property is comprised of six office units of various sizes with a gross area of 27,429 square feet and total sellable area of 22,024 square feet at Liberty House, Dubai International Financial Centre.

As per the report, in July 2009 the value of six office units was just 28.8 million dirham (AED), equivalent to Rs633 million approximately. However, the then-NICL management had bought these office units for AED74.05 million, or Rs1.63 billion, causing a loss of roughly Rs1 billion in just one deal.

The Land Sterling valuation report further revealed that even in December 2016 – seven and a half years after the Dubai deal – the market value of the property was only AED42.765 million, which is still 42.2 per cent lesser than the 2009 purchase price.

Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had investigated the case.  In December 2014, an accountability court had acquitted former NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi and five others in this scam. The court had acquitted the accused persons after a report was submitted to the court that AED74.05 million was the prevailing market price of the six flats in 2009. The other accused persons were Amin Qasim Dada, Muhammad Zahoor, Zahid Hussain, Navid Hasan Zaidi, and Hur Gardezi.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken suo motu notice of the case after it was alleged that against a market price of AED1,200 per square foot, the NICL management bought the office space in Dubai at AED2,700 per square foot, causing a loss of Rs900 million.

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