NAB team returns after UAE refusal to hand over accused
ISLAMABAD: A National Accountability Bureau team which had gone to Abu Dhabi to get custody of Tauqeer Sadiq, former chief of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, returned home empty-handed after the United Arab Emirates government refused to hand over the man accused of being involved in a Rs82 billion scam.
“We have been asked to go for extradition process despite the fact that Pakistan and Abu Dhabi have no such treaty,” a senior NAB official told Dawn on Wednesday.
The official said that National Accountability Bureau investigators had returned and only an official of the Federal Investigation Agency, who deals with Interpol, stayed back in Abu Dhabi to pursue the case.
Tauqeer Sadiq was arrested by Abu Dhabi police on Jan 28 on Interpol’s intervention.
On Nov 25 last year, the Supreme Court had declared the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as Ogra chairman illegal and ordered NAB to investigate cases of corruption against him and submit its findings within 45 days.
When contacted, NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal claimed that the UAE government had not refused to hand over Sadiq but asked for completion of legal formalities.
“The NAB team was in the UAE not to take custody of the accused but to complete legal formalities required to issue arrest warrants by UAE courts and the same was done amicably,” he said.
When it was pointed out that there was no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UAE, he said that the National Accountability Bureau was trying to get the fugitive deported from the UAE. This, he added, could be done through Interpol “as was done in the BoP case where Shaikh Afzal and his son were deported from Malaysia although we did not have any extradition treaty with that country”.
Being one of the stakeholders, he said, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was looking after matters relating to Interpol and was pleading for his extradition.
The spokesman said that NAB was of the opinion that deportation would be a suitable option because the accused had lost his legal right to stay in the UAE and his passport had been cancelled.
He added that NAB was in the process of providing required documents to law-enforcement agencies in the UAE as well as to Interpol.
The Supreme Court, which is trying the Ogra case, has asked the authorities concerned to explain how Tauqeer Sadiq managed to go abroad when his name had been placed on the Exit Control List and in the presence of close-circuit cameras at airports.