ISLAMABAD - A two-member team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), probing Olympics visa scam, returned home from London empty-handed after spending more than Rs 2 million of the national exchequer, sources aware of the development told TheNation on Thursday.

A source in the FIA said that the investigation team failed to get any lead in the scam, as it remained unable to record the statement of Ali Asad, the main character in the scam.

The team comprised of Director FIA, Karachi, Mozamma Ali Jah and PSO to Director General FIA, Mohammad Waseem. Shafiq Ahmed, an officer of the data warehouse of National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), also accompanied the team to assist it in technical matters.

The investigation team remained in the UK for more than two weeks and NADRA bore all its expenditures during its stay there on the directions of the Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

A fact confirmed by a senior officer of NADRA who further told The Nation on the condition of anonymity that the team was sent to London in haste on the directions of Interior Minister. He cited this as a major explanation for the failure of the investigation team in getting any lead or recording the statement of Ali Asad.

NADRA officer said Authority had opposed the Interior Ministry’s directions that it would bear all expenditures of the investigation team but had to bow down before the powerful Interior Minister’s pressure. “When the team was dispatched to London, Interior Ministry neither took the Foreign Office in loop nor contacted the British Home office,” he said while describing reasons of failure of the team in recording the statement of main character in the visa scam.

According to the Interior ministry, FIA team has submitted a report regarding progress in UK. The team also said that several meetings were held with the British officials in locating Asad but all in vain. 

The visa scam had surfaced after a British tabloid The Sun published that some persons might sneak into UK on fake traveling documents as part of Pakistan’s Olympics squad. However, NADRA had dismissed the claim as base saying that its system was secure and no body can get issued CNIC through fake identity from its system.