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RAWALPINDI, April 15: An accused-turned-approver in the ephedrine case on Monday confessed before the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court that he played an intermediary role between a pharmaceutical firm and former MNA Ali Musa Gilani for local-sale conversion of the controlled chemical.

Tauqeer Ali Khan, who has become the third approver in the case related to misuse of 9,000 kilogrammes of ephedrine, told Judge Arshad Mehmood Tabassum that Berlix Pharmaceutical had paid Rs11 million to Musa Gilani, a son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, through him for local-sale conversion of 6,500 kg ephedrine allocated to the firm for export.

Earlier, former director general health Dr Rasheed Juma and ex-director Danas Pharmaceutical had also recorded similar statements in the same court against former federal minister Makhdoom Shahabudduin, Musa Gilani and former health secretary Khushnood Lashari.

The ANF officials arrested Tauqeer Ali Khan on March 20 soon after his arrival at Benazir Bhutto airport from Dubai. He was, however, granted bail by the CNS court later.

On Friday, the ANF submitted an application to the court stating that Ali Khan had become an approver and was ready to record his statement.

Before recording the statement against his former friend Musa Gilani on Monday, he told Dawn that there was no other option for him except becoming an approver in the case.

“I could not run from the ANF for long. I have a family and some business in Pakistan and my continuous absconding would have resulted in confiscation of my property.”

He added: “I decided to become an approver for the sake of my family and my own future.”

Narrating his story before the court, Ali Khan said he was a businessman and had been running his own textile mill. In 2010, due to severe loadshedding he decided to change his business, he added.

According to the statement, Rizwan Khan, a former director of Danas Pharmaceutical, introduced Ali Khan to Iftikhar Khan Babar of Berlix Pharmaceutical and advised him to start a medicine business.During these discussions, Iftikahr also sought his assistance in converting the 6,500 kg quota of the ephedrine for local sale.

Later, Ali Khan asked Musa Gilani to use his influence in the health ministry.

Ali Khan said the ephedrine quota was converted into local sale in three installments. In the first step, Musa Gilani asked the then director general health Dr Rasheed Juma for conversion of 2,500 kg and 1,585 kg ephedrine and received Rs6 million.

Musa Gilani then asked Dr Asad Hafeez, the then acting director general health, for conversion of 2,415 kg ephedrine for which Iftikhar paid Rs4 million to Musa Gilani through Ali Khan.

Ali Khan also claimed that he delivered the amount to Musa Gilani at his Lahore residence.

He said Musa Gilani got the job done through the then secretary health, Khushnood Akhtar Lashari.

Last year, Ali Khan became an absconder after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on April 3 dismissed his intra-court appeal seeking quashment of the warrants issued for his arrest in connection with the case.