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TDAP scam: FIA arrests 45 suspects

TDAP scam: FIA arrests 45 suspects

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency has arrested 45 men for their alleged involvement in what has been termed Rs 1.27 billion scam of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan relating to ‘misappropriation’ of funds in export promotion schemes. The accused have been in judicial custody since rejection of their bail applications.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed the FIA on Aug 6 last year to collect evidence and initiate criminal proceedings against officials, exporters and companies involved in the scam. The arrested men include bank officials, auditors and businessmen.

FIA sources said that Rs 142 million had already been recovered and property worth Rs 880 million attached. TDAP officials arrested include two former chief executives; Tariq Puri, who headed the TDAP from Oct 1, 2010, to July 7, 2012 and Abid Javed Akbar, who succeeded him and held the post till July 2013. The FIA has also arrested former TDAP secretary Javed Anwar Khan, Director General of (facilitation) Abdul Karim Daudpota and TDAP Project Officer Mirchu Mal Khatri.

FIA officials have given a detailed presentation about the case to Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir who called upon the interior minister to speed up the investigation into the scam. He has also written a letter to the interior minister urging him to direct FIA officials to conclude the probe soon, sources said. The commerce minister directed FIA officials to ensure prosecution of all cases instituted against the accused and try to recover the misappropriated money.

The commerce ministry had constituted a three-member committee headed by Additional Secretary Fazal Abbas Maken to investigate disbursements made under the export incentive schemes in 2010. According to a TDAP inquiry report, most of the payments were made on bogus documents, violating criteria laid down in public notices and business procedures.