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Interpol to hand over Tauqir Sadiq to Pakistan today

Haseeb Haider
Filed on July 9, 2013

Interpol will hand over to Pakistani authorities on Monday a top government official, Tauqir Sadiq, who is wanted in a multi-billion rupee corruption case, after a court in the capital ordered his deportation last week.

An official of Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is already in the capital to take his custody and fly him back, a diplomatic source said.

Tauqir will be flown back on an Air Blue flight BA 231 to Islamabad, where authorities would investigate him on the charges of taking bribes in excess of Rs82 billion ($820 million), misuse of authority and other charges.

He arrived in the UAE in order to avoid arrest, as Pakistan’s Supreme Court took suo motu action on his massive corruption stories and ordered his immediate arrest.

With the help of top government leaders, Tauqir went into hiding for some time and later crossed border into Afghanistan, from where he took a flight to Nepal and managed to get visa for the UAE.

However, he was chased by the NAB which traced him in Ajman after he made telephone calls and made some financial transactions.

He was later arrested and a court in Abu Dhabi heard his case and decided to deport him last week.

Tauqir is a classic case of how corrupt political elite hand-pick their friends and relatives to head public institutions in order to use them for their dirty agenda of corruption, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement and mismanagement.

A relative of a senior PPP leader, Tauqir was picked up for the job of chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), which regulates the oil and gas business by fixing the prices of petroleum products and gives permission for setting up new oil and gas stations.

In few years of his service at the authority, Tauqir created havoc by accepting bribes for giving permissions to set up new CNG stations, following which the Supreme Court took notice and order a detailed investigation into his financial wrongdoings.

The previous PPP-led government protected him against the Supreme Court orders and even the investigation agencies had to slow down their efforts to arrest him and did not take any action against him.

Now, the political circumstances have changed in Pakistan, where a new government has taken office, which means he would not enjoy the protection anymore.

The National Accountability Bureau will investigate him in the light of Supreme Court directions that whether he was alone in his misdeeds apart from recovering the huge amounts taken by him as bribes.

haseeb@khaleejtimes.com


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