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FIA probes ex-EOBI chief, 15 others in Rs40b scam

FIA probes ex-EOBI chief, 15 others in Rs40b scam

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was informed by the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had launched 18 inquiries, in which 16 cases had been registered against private individuals and officials, including EOBI’s former chairman Zafar Iqbal Gondal.

The committee urged FIA to provide details of the registered cases in the next meeting. It recommended that the EOBI’s legal team should actively pursue these cases in the Supreme Court.

The parliamentary committee also suggested that EOBI’s annual financial report should be presented in the National Assembly.

Following a suo motu notice on a Rs40 billion scam in the EOBI, former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had directed FIA to conduct an inquiry into the misappropriation, after which probe teams had been formed at the provincial level.

According to reports, EOBI officials had invested huge sums in housing schemes and purchased vehicles in various cities. The purchases were made without the approval of the institution’s board of directors.

The committee met under acting chairman Sheikh Salahuddin in the absence of Mir Aamir Ali Khan Magsi, who is currently abroad.

According to the representative of the Ministry of law and Justice, the bills, ‘the Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Bill, 2016’ (moved by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho), ‘the Employment of Children (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ (moved by Aliya Kamran) and ‘the Children (Pledging of Labour) (Amendment) Bill, 2017’ (moved by Dr Nikhat Shakeel Khan) fall under the ambit of the interior ministry and therefore, the committee referred them to it.