LAHORE – It has been two months since the FIA is waiting for a go-ahead from the interior ministry to carry forward its probe into NFC corruption scandal. The agency has unearthed misappropriation of over Rs70 million and believes it’s just a tip of the iceberg.

The ministry has held a request of FIA Lahore to grant permission for registering a case against National Fertilisers Corporation (NFC) officials allegedly involved in embezzlement, an officer of the agency revealed on Wednesday. After completing initial inquiry of the corruption scandal the Lahore station of the Federal Investigation Agency had sent a report to the interior ministry about two months back, seeking permission for registration of a case against the accused but the ministry has given no response in this regard, the officer said.

In its preliminary investigation, the FIA Corporate Crime Circle had established that over Rs70 million have been misappropriated, but the investigators believe the actual money embezzled from the corporation could run into billions of rupees.

Another FIA officer said: “The embezzled amount can touch Rs70 billion mark; we are looking into it.” He said the scandal was so huge in scale that the FIA inquiry team was finding it difficult to collect all the relevant record. “There are heaps of papers lying in the corridors in the FIA premises and still we are gathering more record,” he added. The FIA inquiry team had inspected the NFC store at Emanabad near Gujranwala and established that corruption of to the tune of Rs70 millions was committed. The team in its report recommended action against Consultant Col (r) Ikramul Haq, Distribution and Sales Deputy General Manager Hamid Pervez, Regional Manager Abdul Ghaffar and two contractors of transport companies, Faisal Movers and Sania.

One officer said the agency has so far found that 46.8 million bags were stolen. He said 250,000 trucks were used in transportation of the said bags and inquiry of the truck owners involved would also be carried out.

The officer said the inquiry of the whole scam would take time, adding “There are more than 150 stores of the NFC out of which eight are main stores.”

The FIA has also requested interior ministry to put the names of the 14 accused involved in the scam on the Exit Control List (ECL) so they cold not flee the country. Two officials of the NFML Lt-Col (r) Ikramul Haq and Hamid Pervez have been terminated.

An officer regretted that despite passing of more than two months to FIA’s sending its report seeking permission to register case, no response has been received from to the ministry so far.

The sources further said that FIA inquiry team had initially established its camp office at NFC office to expedite the inquiry process. But later on, they winded up their camp office and shifted again to the FIA building near Regal Chowk due to some reasons.

One investigator cited suffering of their rest of work due to their absence from FIA office as the reason for shifting back. However, other sources said the NFC high-ups had their reservations on the establishment of FIA camp office in their office which led the agency to close down the camp office.