The federal government has given the go-ahead to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe a huge banking fraud allegedly committed by a Dubai-based Pakistani-Norwegian businessman and involving $101.2 million (over Rs16 billion).

Official sources told Dawn that a summary to this effect sent by the interior ministry had been approved by the federal cabinet which met on Monday.

Two separate cases have been registered by the Corporate Crime Circle of the FIA after completing inquiries in both cases. During the inquiries it came to light that Umar Farooq Zahoor with a co-accused had allegedly committed a bank fraud of $89.2m in Oslo, Norway, in 2010 and another fraud involving an amount of $12m in Bern, Switzerland, in 2004.

“In view of the evidence available on record, prima facie accused Umar Farooq Zahoor and Saleem Ahmad have committed (offences) under sections 408, 409, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 108-A and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010…Since the offences were committed beyond the limit of Pakistan, therefore permission under section 188 of the Criminal Procedure Code is required to investigate the cases,” the summary approved by the cabinet reads.

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