LAHORE- Though newly appointed FIA director, Dr Usman, a PSP officer and known as an upright officer, is busy setting things right in the agency under his command, how his subordinates were looting applicants can be gauged from a story according to which an FIA officer not only failed to provide justice to a person who fell prey to a human smuggler, but further looted him.

The officer also asked the applicant to keep mum or remain ready to face dire consequences. The nerve-wracking story starts when a villager Majid Anwar of Jahanian, district Khanewal, submits an application to the FIA director. The application states that one Akhtar Saeed, a human smuggler and owner of ‘Fahad Elahi Travel and Tourism’ minted Rs one million from him on the pretext of sending him Malaysia in October 2010. The accused, after receiving Rs 300,000, sent the complainant to Malaysia where he was given no job in violation of the agreement. Moreover, the accused’s brother-in-law kept him into illegal custody in Malaysia. Shakeel, the brother-in-law of the accused, received the applicant from Kuala Lumpur and, after keeping his passport in his custody, engaged him in forced labour.

Majid, in his application, said that Shakeel had promised to pay him Malaysian Ringgits (MR)-1800 per month, but even after the hard labour of seven months, he was paid nothing. When he insisted on payment of his wages, he was handed over to Malaysian police on the charges of having no travel documents and passport.

Meanwhile, Shakeel told the whole story to Akhtar Saeed. Akhtar contacted Majid’s mother who has been on death bed since long and informed her that her son was caught by Malaysian police and he could only be freed after payment of Rs 300,000. The ill-fated mother, after selling jewellery and borrowing money from her relatives, paid Rs 300,000 to Akhtar in the presence of two witnesses. After receiving the money, Akhtar contacted Shakeel and asked him to manage Majid’s release. Majid was freed, but Shakeel did not return his passport to him. Majid’s family members sent him another amount of Rs 70,000 to enable him to get his passport.

The story does not end here, but takes a new curve when the FIA director marked the application of Majid to Inspector Malik Sheraz to look into the matter. The inquiry officer (IO) told Majid that his issue would be resolved within seven days and his total looted money would be recovered. Malik, however, imposed the condition that out of the recovered money 15 percent would go to deputy director, Anti-Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC), and the other staff. D/D AHTC was Muhammad Ahmad at that time. The IO further asked the applicant to pay him Rs 30,000 as immediate expense for the arrest of the accused for he would have to go to Khanewal for that purpose. Majid said in his application that his brother Shehzad paid the said money to the IO outside the FIA office on June 24, 2013. After receiving the bribe, the IO summoned the accused on telephone and sent him back. The accused contacted the applicant and offered him Rs 250,000, expressing his inability to pay the rest of the amount. The applicant informed the IO of the development. The IO shouted at him and asked him to visit his office with the accused. Both the applicant and the accused visited the FIA office. Sheraz called the accused in and ordered the applicant to stay outside. After two hours, the applicant was asked to go home and visit the FIA office after 15 days. Majid said that he visited the FIA office again and again with his witnesses, but the IO not only refused to listen to him but also threatened him of dire consequences. Interestingly, the IO recommended the closure of the inquiry for the reasons best know to him.

However, Malik Sheraz denied the report  and said the whole episode is unsubstantiated.