Awami Raj Party chairman Jamshed Dasti was arrested on Thursday by Muzaffargarh police.
The former lawmaker has been named in cases pertaining to the alleged abduction of staff transporting oil and the alleged theft of the commodity.
Elite Forces personnel Farrukh Shehzad and Nasir Lashari, former union council chairman Malik Ajmal Kalro and traders' leader Malik Abid Malana — besides three other people — have also been named in the cases and had already been arrested.
According to one of two FIRs, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, a case has been registered at the Qureshi police station in Muzaffargarh under Sections 395 (punishment for dacoity), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 170 (personating a public servant) and 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The FIR, which was registered on Tuesday on the complaint of a driver, states that an oil tanker carrying 40,000 litres of carbon diesel worth Rs4.3 million was traveling from Quetta to Multan on December 21, 2019, when near the Muzaffargarh-Dera Ghazi Khan road, a police vehicle along with a government vehicle crossed its path and ordered it to stop.
According to the FIR, "four men dressed in the Elite Forces uniform and armed with Kalashnikov rifles and four unarmed men dressed in white" were present during the alleged incident and can all be identified through a police lineup.
"The armed men immediately took us hostage," says the FIR, which goes on to state that the staff transporting the oil were "blindfolded and transported to an unknown location where they were kept for two days before being released".
The FIR further alleges that the persons involved "drove off with the tanker".
A separate FIR has also been registered at the City police station.
Dasti, in a video statement released on the day the cases had been registered, had condemned the registration of cases and declared the development to be "a conspiracy by the government".
The Awami Raj Party chairman has reportedly been transported to an undisclosed location.
Police spokesperson Wasim Khan said that the former lawmaker has been named in more than 33 cases, including those involving murder, kidnapping and dacoity.
Dasti's nephews Samad Dasti and Malik Sanwal have accused the police of partaking in a "revenge conspiracy".
They said that Dasti had been "subjected to torture by police in custody" on prior occasions, expressing the fear that he may be "killed in a police encounter".
The two have appealed to the authorities to look into the matter.