KARACHI: The Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered another case of ‘Money Laundering’ against an employee of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Syed Adeel Aftab (Assistant Grade-II Admin CAA). He was directly involved in taking bribes from Askari Flying Club to pass pilots through fake exams.

According to a statement, Director FIA Sindh, Amir Farooqui has said that the case was registered on March 18, 2021 by Inspector Ummara Qureshi of FIA’s CCC Karachi and it is an outcome of previous FIR Nos 6-8/2021. The new FIR Nos 11, 2021 is registered under section 3, 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.

During the investigation of the previous case, it came on record that accused Adeel Aftab used to receive bribes from pilots of Askari Flying Club for passing pilot license exams. The bribe amount received by Adeel Aftab was shared among all other accused officials of Licensing Branch of CAA, the statement further said.

During the investigation, it was also revealed that accused Adeel Aftab is also a beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated from receiving bribes from pilots of Askari Flying Club. The accused Syed Adeel Aftab has placed proceeds of his crimes in several bank accounts under his name.

Furthermore, he has also acquired real estate properties from this money, has done international tours of US, UK and other countries, the Director FIA informed. Aftab was arrested by FIA Karachi on March 15, 2021, in the case of FIR Nos. 10/2021 and is in police custody.

The FIA’s CCC, on January 29, lodged three FIRs against 40 pilots and eight other individuals including CAA officials in the fake pilot license case.

The FIRs have been registered on the complaint of Deputy Director General (Regulatory) PCAA regarding the issuance of Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). All the fake pilots were passed by the authority on the basis of fake exams.

According to the FIA, the cases have been registered against the authorities of a licensing branch of PCAA, a private individual and accused pilots who illegally obtained CPL and ATPL on the basis of fake pilot license exams.

The exams were conducted either on public holidays, for example, on Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Eid holidays, weekends and after office hours. Some of the pilots’ exams were conducted when they were performing domestic and international flights, the official said.

The FIA’s CCC team had already arrested accused persons including Khalid Mehmood, Acting Additional Director (Licensing), PCAA, Faisal Manzoor Ansari, Senior Joint Director, Licensing Branch, PCAA, Asif-ul-Haq, Senior Joint Director, Licensing Branch, PCAA, Muhammad Mahmood Hussain, Additional Director (Licensing), PCAA, Abdul Raees, Senior Superintendent HR Licensing Branch, PCAA and Muhammad Saqlain Ali, Pilot. The team is also raiding offices in an attempt to arrest other accused persons nominated in the FIRs.

The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.

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