RAWALPINDI: The Anti-Narcotics Force declared on Saturday federal Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, former prime minister’s son Ali Musa Gilani and former principal secretary to the prime minister Khushnood Akhtar Lashari absconders in its fourth challan submitted to the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court in connection with the ephedrine case.
According to the challan submitted by ANF Deputy Director Abid Zulfiqar, former director general of health Dr Asad Hafeez misused his authority in allocation and local sale conversion of 2,500kg ephedrine to two pharmaceutical companies – Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharmaceutical.
On Friday, CNS Judge Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry rejected bail pleas of Dr Hafeez, Danas Pharmaceutical’s chief executive officer Ansar Farooq and drug controller Ansar Sheikh.
For the first time the ANF has included the names of Mr Shahabuddin, Ali Musa and Khushnood Lashari in the challan’s accused column since it started investigation into the ephedrine scandal in September last year. In the first FIR registered on Oct 10 last year, none of them were nominated as accused in the case.
The others declared absconders are: Tauqeer Ali Khan and Anjum Shah, the alleged front-men; Col (retd) Tahirul Wadood Lahoti, director of Danas Pharmaceutical company; Syed Tanveer Husain Sherazi and Chaudhry Abdul Waheed.
Ansar Farooq, Berlex Lab’s owner Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Hashim Khan Tareen of Cane Pharmaceutical, Ehsanur Rehman, Dr Hafeez, Sheikh Ansar and deputy drug controller Abdul Sattar Sohrani are among the accused.
Former director general of health Dr Rasheed Juma and director of Danas Pharmaceutical Rizwan Ahmed Khan have, however, been declared approvers in the ephedrine case.
In his approver statement, Dr Juma alleged that Musa Gilani and Khushnood Lashari had pressurised him to allocate 6,000kg ephedrine to Berlex Lab.
He said they had deliberately not forwarded the summary for his service extension to the prime minister because they wanted to use it as a blackmailing tool.
Dr Juma said Sheikh Ansar was an accomplice of Mr Shahabuddin, Musa Gilani and Mr Lashari who were behind the allocation and local sale conversion of the controlled chemicals.
In his statement, Rizwan Khan said the ephedrine quota had been sold to smugglers who sent it to Iran via Quetta and Taftan. He claimed that Danas Pharmaceutical had paid Rs6 million to Anjum Shah, an alleged agent of Mr Shahabuddin, to get 2,500kg ephedrine quota.
ANF sources told Dawn that if the accused continued to remain absconders the force would confiscate their property. They said the ANF had already started the process of ascertaining movable and immovable property of the accused, which would be submitted to the court for attachment. The court, they added, might ordered confiscation of their property.
Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, the counsel for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, told Dawn that his client and Musa Gilani would move their bail applications in a couple of days. He said that after the rejection of their bail pleas by a division bench of the Lahore High Court, the next appellate forum was the Supreme Court.
“We are hopeful of getting justice from the apex court,” he added.