ISLAMABAD - As the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Zone of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has intensified it efforts to track down former chairman EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefit Institute), Zafar Gondal, in connection with alleged land scam, the agency Monday moved the Interior Ministry to place his name on Exit Control List (ECL).

An official of the FIA connected with the investigation process said that the agency on Monday had written to the Ministry of Interior to place the name of the former chairman EOBI on ECL to avert such kind of embarrassment that state institutions had to face in Tauqir Sadiq case. “We are tracing the whereabouts of Gondal and raids would continue at different places for his arrest,” the official stressed.

So far FIA’s crime circle Rawalpindi Zone has registered three FIRs (first information reports) against Zafar Gondal, the real brother of former federal minister of PPP government, Nazar Mohammad Gondal and maternal uncle of former chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Nadeem Afzal Gondal.

Well-placed sources in the FIA informed that crime circle was investigating another case of corruption against Zafar Gondal about the investment of EOBI in Crown Plaza building in Islamabad. According to the documents of land purchase, EOBI purchased the property in Crown Plaza building worth at Rs 1.2 billion while the rough estimates indicate that property’s original price was Rs 450 million, a source privy to the development said.

He said thus around Rs 550 million (55 crore) loss was caused to the national kitty in this case. He at the same time added that the final assessment report from a recognised firm had yet to come that would ascertain the actual price of the property at the time when it was purchased. The Federal Investigation Agency would register the case against former EOBI chairman and other accused after thoroughly probing this shady land purchase deal, the source further said.

Rawalpindi Zone of FIA has already registered three cases against Gondal and other accused, one has been registered in a fraudulent land fraud deal in Kallar Kahar, the other in a land purchase case in Chakwal and thirds case has been registered in connection with the luxury vehicles allegedly purchased by EOBI at higher rates.

The Federal Investigation Agency has also sought the price of the vehicle VX 80 Toyota from the company that was purchased by EOBI at a price of Rs 178 million and is in the process of estimation of actual values of the other luxury cars, that were purchased during the stint of Zafar Gondal as chairman EOBI, an official of Federal Investigation Agency informed. Meanwhile, a director general of EOBI here on Monday also appeared before the FIA to record his statement as a witness about the purchase of these luxury vehicles.

The Supreme Court had taken a suo moto notice about the EOBI multi-billion rupee corruption scandal when a TV reporter broke the story that government-backed EOBI made suspected deals and purchased land worth billions of rupees in the private sector at much higher rates than the original rates to get huge kickbacks during the chairmanship of Gondal. The SC had asked the Federal Investigation Agency to investigate the case and submit the report in detail.

During the last hearing, the apex court had asked the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to deposit Rs 22 billion with the registrar of the court that he had received from EOBI accounts as a result of a land purchase deal. The SC had also ordered to freeze all DHA accounts. Three zones of Federal Investigation Agency — Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi — are separately investigating this scam.

Zafar Gondal had been appointed as chairman EOBI by the previous federal government of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) because of his family’s close connections with the party. His two close relatives, Nazar Mohammad Gondal and Nadeem Afzal Gondal were elected members of the National Assembly on PPP tickets in 2008 elections.