ISLAMABAD: A senior bureaucrat caused embarrassment to the country when he was caught stealing the wallet of a member of the Kuwaiti delegation which visited the country to discuss investment plans in Pakistan, Dawn has learnt.
Sources said the theft was committed by a grade-20 officer of the Pakistan Administrative Services Group, deployed at the Finance Ministry and he was caught through closed-circuit TV camera (CCTV) footage after the members of the Kuwaiti delegation lodged a strong protest.
In the six-second leaked video clip, which also went viral on social media, the bureaucrat could be seen lifting the wallet from the table and putting it into his pocket at a time when all Kuwaiti delegates and officials of the ministry had left the hall at the Economic Affairs Division after the meeting.
The issue came to light when a member of the Kuwaiti delegation lodged a complaint with the Pakistan officials that his wallet containing a handsome amount of the Kuwaiti dinar had gone missing during the meeting.
A search was conducted in the ministry and all the rooms and offices were combed. Even the lower grade employees of the ministry were quizzed and physically searched but nothing was found.
Later, the footage captured by a CCTV camera installed at the hall was examined which revealed that the stealing was committed by the senior officer. When the officer was approached, he first denied his involvement, but when the footage was shown to him he produced the wallet, the sources stated.
When the Kuwaiti official was informed about the recovery of his wallet, the members of the delegation asked the authorities to provide them identification of the culprit. The Pakistani officials initially showed reluctance and assured the guests that legal action would be taken against the person.
However, the sources said, it was on the insistence of the delegates who were extremely angry over the incident that Pakistani officials informed them about the person and the Kuwaitis were also shown the CCTV footage.
So far, no complaint has been registered with the police.
The sources in the ministry said that an internal inquiry was in progress against the bureaucrat and further action would be taken keeping in view its recommendations.
When during a news briefing, a question about the incident was put before Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, he simply said that most of the present bureaucrats had got “moral training” during the previous governments.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2018