ISLAMABAD - Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recovered Rs 25 million in one of the cases connected with EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefits Institution) scam in which land had been purchased at much exorbitant rates than the actual value near Kallar Kahar, The Nation has learnt.

The FIA had registered FIR (first information report) number 27/2013 against some officials of EOBI and private persons for purchasing 160 marlas (8 kanal) of land near Kallar Kahar at the rate of total Rs 32 million, much higher rates than the actual price of the land.

According to the preliminary inquiry report of FIA, the actual price of the land was Rs 30,000 per marla with the total amount of Rs 4.8 million. However, EOBI in a bid to make an investment in the real estate purchases the total land  (160 marla) at the rate of Rs 32 million in connivance with a private evaluator who intentionally evaluated the land at much higher rates than the actual one.

A senior FIA official on condition of anonymity said that Maqsoodul Haq was the landowner who had sold it to EOBI and now he had voluntarily handed over a cheque of Rs 25 million to the FIA investigators. “Haq has given the statement before probe team at the purchase deal of the land should be got cancelled as he was ready to return the total money,” the official informed. He further said that Asif Azad, Director Real Estate EOBI, and Mian Wafiq Anwar, land evaluator and Director of Dimen Associates, a private evaluator firm, had been arrested in the case. Neezar Ali Khawaja, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prima Co, a subsidiary of EOBI, had also been arrested in the case who, the other day, got his bail from the court of law and now has been made part of the investigation process, the official further said.

FIA Islamabad Zone is investigating total four cases of EOBI scam, besides Lahore and Karachi zones that were investigating cases in the same mega corruption scandal separately. FIA Islamabad Zone is investigating cases of purchase of pieces of land in Kallar Kahar and Chakwal at exorbitant rates, purchase of property in Crown Plaza Islamabad at higher rates than the actual value and purchase of Parado van while violating rules by then management of the EOBI. Zafar Gondal, real brother of PPP senior leader and former federal minister Nazar Mohammad Gondal, was the chairman of EOBI at that time. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had taken a suo moto notice of some media reports that alleged mega corruption had been committed during the chairmanship of Zafar Gondal and had asked the FIA to inquire the matter thoroughly and present its report before the court.