Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore has opened an investigation into its former director-general (DG), Bashir Memon, for allegedly helping an accused wanted in numerous European nations on money laundering allegations.
According to sources, Memon has been summoned to the FIA headquarters in Islamabad on January 1, 2022, for questioning. On December 24, the notice was delivered.
According to the FIA’s notification, Umar Farooq Zahoor is being investigated for a variety of international financial crimes of serious character that have led to transnational money laundering.
The accused has been wanted in several countries since 2009/10, including Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. Zahoor, on the other hand, had eluded capture despite several demands from NCBS INTERPOL. The subject of his arrest in Red Notice is currently before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. At the request of NCB INTERPOL Oslo, Switzerland, a Red Notice was issued against accused Umar Farooq Zahoor.
“During the investigation of the subject cases at FIA Lahore, it was discovered that, while he should have been investigated for serious transnational financial crimes and money laundering, he was rather unlawfully facilitated by FIA in 2018/19 while you were Director-General FIA in freely traveling to and from Pakistan despite being on INTERPOL’s Red Warrant’s Watch-list,” the notice reads.
Memon allegedly aided the accused while heading NCB INTERPOL Islamabad, according to the FIA, by making the International Red Notice issued against him controversial.
The FIA claimed, “It is a matter of record that the abovementioned favoring of a notorious/wanted international fugitive constituted an open and obvious abuse of authority for extraneous reasons/considerations.”
FIA Lahore has also served five questions to its previous DG in order to obtain a detailed response.
“If you do not cooperate with this call-up notice, you will have nothing to say in your defense, and the investigation officers/team may proceed to take legal action against you based on information/evidence on file,” the notice states.
FIA also has a copy of a letter made by Zahoor to Memon, thanking him for his assistance in removing the INTERPOL Red Notice against him, which he said was unfairly released at Norway’s request.
“Your assistance is extremely important and greatly appreciated. “I have been suffering as a result of a Red Notice that was published in violation of my human rights, as guaranteed by the Pakistani Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the accused wrote to Memon.
All of the claims leveled against him by the FIA, according to former DG FIA Bashir Ahmad Memon, were “baseless.”
The former cop claimed he had never met Umar Farooq Zahoor, but admitted that he had met him once at his home when a member of a Middle Eastern royal family paid him a visit over a cup of tea.
“How could I tell if the person accompanying a dignitary was a fugitive?” Memon remarked.
Memon also wondered if it was solely his fault for failing to investigate Zahoor, despite the fact that his case had been pending since 2004. He went on to say that he became DG in 2017.
Memon inquired, “Will the FIA investigate all former DGs, ADGs, and other top officials from 2004 to 2017?”
The former DG further alleged that the current Director FIA Lahore DIG Dr. Muhammad Rizwan, who is investigating this matter, was Director Immigration when the accused traveled to and from Pakistan on a regular basis.
Wajid Zia, the additional DG FIA Immigration, and Dr. Rizwan, according to Memon, should be investigated by the FIA for failing to figure out how and why an accused was able to fly abroad without incident.