An officer convicted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of financial and economic crimes for 14 years has been appointed head of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Economic Crime Wing (ECW) by the PPP government after his crime record was concealed during the promotion process as he is a friend of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The decision was taken recently after Pakistan was indicted and blacklisted by a global anti-corruption body, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). Ahmad Riaz Sheikh, who was convicted and given 14-year rigorous imprisonment with Rs20 million fine imposed and property confiscated, has not only been restored and promoted to BS-20, notwithstanding the conviction upheld, has been made the FIA additional DG, a BS-21 post, now heading the ECW.

The charge sheet the NAB had furnished against Sheikh, the then FIA deputy director, found his family travelling to Europe on chartered planes, all children enrolled in the Aitchison College with every child had different tutors for different subjects, recovered gold and diamonds in kilogrammes, and long list of property details.

Sheikh, of known humble means, had been inducted into the FIA by its former DG Aslam Hayat Wattoo to oblige Sheikh’s father, who worked on Wattoo’s agriculture farm in Haveli Lakha.