NICL corruption case: Ex-chairman Niazi, five others sentenced to seven years in prison

KARACHI: An accountability court announced its verdict in the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) mega land scam case and sentenced six, including former chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi, to seven years each in prison.

The accountability court in Karachi also barred the six convicts from holding any public office for 10 years each.

The scandal from five years ago pertains to financial embezzlement by former NICL chairperson Ayaz Khan Niazi, Mohsin Habib Warraich, then commerce minister (late) Makhdoom Amin Fahim, and several others in the purchase of official land.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference had accused them of purchasing official land in Karachi’s Korangi area at a higher price and causing a loss of Rs490 million to the national exchequer.

Following the court order, the police took the convicts in its custody. Earlier, two suspects in the case had sought plea bargain.

Niazi named in Paradise Papers

In November last year, Ayaz Khan Niazi was identified in the leaked Paradise Papers records in connection with four offshore holdings in the British Virgin Islands.

One of them was a trust, Andalusian Discretionary Trust, while the other three were set up as companies: Andalusian Establishment Limited, Andalusian Enterprises Limited and Andalusian Holdings Limited.

All the three companies were set up in 2010 when Niazi was the NICL chief.

In the records, however, Niazi’s two brothers, Hussain Khan Niazi and Muhammad Ali Khan Niazi, were shown as the beneficial owners whereas Ayaz along with his father Abdul Razaq Khan and mother Fauzia Razzaq acted as director.