The National Accountability Bureau will be investigating the alleged financial scam of over Rs1 billion in the murder case of news anchor Mureed Abbas.
NAB chairperson Justice Javed Iqbal has directed NAB Karachi’s director-general to initiate an inquiry against Atif Zaman, the prime suspect in the murder case, for his involvement in a fraud tyre business through which he ‘looted’ Abbas and various other journalists.
A press statement issued by NAB confirmed the development on Saturday.
It says that Zaman shot dead TV anchor Abbas and his friend Khizer Hayat after which Karachi police registered a case and is currently conducting an investigation.
NAB has taken up the investigation after police requested it to intervene. According to the police, the financial scam could have been the reason for the murders.
Last week, terrorism clauses were added in the murder case.
Abbas and his friend Khizer Hayat were shot dead on July 9 in Karachi’s DHA. Their killer was identified as Atif Zaman.
The case was being heard by a district court but now that terrorism clauses have been added, it will be heard by an anti-terrorism court.
The judge hearing the case ordered investigators to present the challan in the relevant court (the ATC).
The prosecution has four eye witnesses and 35 other witnesses. According to the challan, Zaman shot Abbas four times and Hayat thrice. Ballistics matched the bullet casings found at the scene to the weapon recovered from Zaman’s possession.
Zaman shot two people and then attempted suicide at his apartment in Nishat Commercial. Police found him in an injured condition and shifted him to a hospital. Doctors operated on him after which he was shifted to the ICU. He recorded his statement with the police after gaining consciousness later in the day.
Police said that Zaman made 35 calls to different business partners and arranged meetups at different locations in Clifton and Bukhari Commercial on July 10.
Only five, however, confirmed that they could meet him.
Another business partner, Khizar Hayat, was called to meet him near a chai dhaba at Chota Bukhari. Hayat was standing near a stall when Zaman opened fire on him and killed him.
He then went to meet Abbas, who was waiting for him at their office at a building in Bukhari. The distance from the place where Hayat was killed and their office is of six minutes.
CCTV footage shows Zaman entering the office building with another person dressed in a white shalwar. Zaman can be seen holding a gun too.
The footage shows two people running away from the building and then Zaman and his accomplice leave the building as well.
Police were trying to trace the culprit when they received reports that shots were heard inside an apartment in Nishat Commercial. The eyewitnesses said that the apartment was closed from inside and they only heard the gunfire.
One of Zaman’s neighbours said that Zaman’s family moved out a day before. He even said that Abbas lived in the same building as Zaman. They had both shifted there three months ago.
Police said that different people had invested at least Rs1 billion in the business.
A five-member committee had been constituted to investigate the case. It comprises District South SSP Sheeraz Nazeer, Clifton SP Suhai Aziz, Darakhshan DSP Zahid Hussain, and Darakhshan SHO Shah Jahan Lashari.
Abbas’s wife told reporters that her husband invested their money in a business and Zaman was not returning their money.
Zaman had told police that he didn’t have any source of income and that he gave profit to his investors from the money he got from other investors.
“I had worked in the tyre business and people knew me,” Zaman said. “I was buying tyres from them and selling it to others.”
It all started in 2014, he said, adding that he was giving 20% to 25% discount to his investors.
“Suppose if someone invested Rs1 million, then I would give them Rs200,000 in profit and the Rs1 million would be re-invested,” he said. “I made Mureed Abbas’s brother open a tyre shop in Mianwali.”