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LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday re-laun­ched criminal investigation into the Pakistan Super League spot-fixing scam.

The FIA has resumed the probe after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) imposed a ban on three players - Khalid Latif (five years), Sharjeel Khan (five years) and Mohammad Irfan (one year).

“We have launched criminal investigation against the players involved in the PSL spot-fixing scam,” FIA Lahore cyber crime head Shahid Hassan told Dawn here on Wednesday. “We have sought record from the PCB about the spot-fixing case and will soon summon the suspected players in this regard.”

When the FIA first started the probe into this matter in March this year, the PCB had insisted that it was solely its domain to investigate the players’ ‘wrongdoings’. The PCB officials including PSL chief Najam Sethi opposed the FIA intervention and later the then Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had directed the FIA to reach an agreement with the board.

It was subsequently decided (between FIA and PCB) that the FIA would initiate criminal proceedings once the PCB’s anti-corruption tribunal announced its verdict in this case. “The FIA will proceed against the tainted players under its Prevention of Corruption Act. Since the players in question had been banned (from playing cricket), criminal investigation would send them in jail if convicted,” Shahid said.

“We will carry out forensic examination of the cellphones of the spot-fixing suspects besides looking into the PCB investigation report,” said Shahid, adding Nasir Jamshed was not returning from London to avoid criminal investigation against him. “The FIA will also go after the bookies in this case,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2017