BAHAWALPUR: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) allegedly released one of the suspects in a fraud of millions of rupees due to political pressure a day after arresting him.

Sources told Dawn that an FIA team arrested Aslam Lodhi and bank officer Muhammad Ashfaq against whom a case was registered by the agency on the complaint of Muhammad Asghar, a mill director who was a partner of Lodhi in a business venture.

They said Asghar, an overseas Pakistani, complained against Lodhi and three bankers including Ashfaq two years ago for allegedly defrauding him of more than Rs440 million in 2016.

The FIA team arrested Lodhi and Ashfaq whereas the other two bankers could not be apprehended in raids. Sources said the FIA released Lodhi the very next day providing him an opportunity to seek pre-arrest bail. The officials sent Ashfaq behind the bars.

The agency launched the probe on the complaint that the four people defrauded Asghar by forging his signature. It registered a case under sections 34, 109, 420, 406, 467, 468 and 471 of PPC against Aslam Lodhi and his accomplices Muhammad Ashfaq, Naumanullah Khan and Noman Hassan Lodhi, bank officers. The FIA arrested Lodhi, along with Ashfaq, on Monday night and released him the next day.

FIA Deputy Director Sarfraz Ali told Dawn that Ashfaq was sent behind the bars. He said the higher-ups would provide a hearing opportunity to Aslam Lodhi.

DEAD CHICKEN: A team of the Gailiwala police in a joint raid with the Punjab Food Authority officials on Tuesday arrested a vendor for selling dead chicken to customers.

Police registered a case against Sajjad and confiscated 109 dead chickens.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2022

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