ISLAMABAD -  The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team— constituted by the Supreme Court to probe record tampering charges against the Securities & Exchange Commission (SECP) — is likely to endorse the allegation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case.

The apex court had formed the FIA probe team after the JIT alleged that the SEC’s records have been tampered with.

The JIT, investigating the offshore wealth and money-laundering allegations against the ruling family, had submitted a report to the Supreme Court Panama Papers’ implementation bench alleging that the SECP had tampered with the record regarding sugar mills owned by the Sharif family.

A four-member FIA team has been constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the JIT.

A source close to the FIA probe team told The Nation that the panel had almost completed its probe and was in the process of penning down the findings of the inquiry.

“During the forensic analysis of the computer records of the SECP, the FIA team has found the JIT allegation correct and the team has decided to endorse the JIT’s point of view,” the source said. A senior officer of the FIA aware of the development, wishing anonymity, said that the FIA probe team had restricted itself to the scope of the investigation to the paragraph written by JIT in its progress report pointing out that the SECP record had been tampered with.

The JIT in the paragraph quoting a source had said that the investigation into the money-laundering case against Chaudhry Sugar Mills, owned by Sharif family, was verbally dropped by the SECP in 2013 but the case was closed backdated in 2016. “The FIA has found that the note was put on the file of the case backdated in 2016,” the officer said.

The FIA has already recorded the statements of SECP officers including its Chairman Zafar Hijazi in the case. SECP Director Maheen Fatima in the statement submitted to the FIA has alleged that the note was put backdated on an official file in 2016 under pressure from the incumbent SECP chairman.

The FIA team is headed by the agency’s Anti-Corruption Wing Director Maqsoodul Hasan and comprised of deputy directors Hazrat Ali, Ayaz Khan and Tahir Tanvir.

SECP Chairman Hijazi in an official statement had distanced himself from tampering with the record saying that “a head of any organisation cannot suppose to be aware of any deficiencies or short comings in a particular case file nor he can be considered responsible for any such deficiency or wrong doing.”

He had further said, “If this precedent of allowing subordinates to apportion blame for their omissions or wrong doings is allowed to be set, every subordinate officer may attribute his failings to the heads of organisation.”