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KARACHI: Through the Interpol, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested a suspect in the United Arab Emirates for his alleged involvement in a fraudulent Modaraba scheme worth over Rs7 billion, said a spokesman for the anti-corruption watchdog on Sunday.

The suspect, said to be a religious scholar, allegedly issued false fatwas to favour the 12 or so people who ran the Ponzi scheme.

“An accused, Mufti Abdullah Shaukat, has been arrested by NAB through Interpol in the UAE,” said the spokesman.

He said the accused was wanted in a corruption reference involving a Modaraba scam under which one Shafiqur Rehman defrauded dozens of people by collecting Rs7.2bn from them after promising huge profits.

The scam was run in an organised manner by a syndicate of 12 alleged criminals in Karachi and about a hundred people were defrauded as a result.

“Mufti Abdullah Shaukat was wanted for issuing false fatwas in favour of the main accused, Shafiqur Rehman, that declared the business was legal under Islamic laws,” said the NAB official.

He said the suspect was a graduate of Jamia Binoria, Karachi. Mufti Abdullah Shaukat, he added, was allegedly in league with the people who ran the scheme.

In December, NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal said his organisation was trying to apprehend 34 suspects involved in Modaraba/Musharaka scams and repatriate absconders from abroad through Interpol. His statement came after an accountability court convicted Fayyazi Group of Industries CEO Mufti Ehsanul Haq and nine others in a major Modaraba case.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2019