Three suspects have been handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency on physical remand after a Karachi court on Friday approved the request in an ongoing probe into the  fake identity cards case.

The FIA had arrested the three suspects on July 14 — Data Entry Operator of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Mega Centre, DHA, Karachi, Muhammad Moosa Abbasi; Muhammad Ameen, who had obtained a forged CNIC; and agent Meraj.

A total of 13 suspects have been arrested so far, including NADRA officials, non-nationals, and agents allegedly involved in the scam.

The FIA had presented the three suspects in the court of Judicial Magistrate East, where they informed the court that one of the suspects had obtained an NIC whose serial number was already registered to another person.

“There is a difference of nine years between the suspect and his father’s age, which is unnatural,” the FIA officials told the court, adding that it needed more time to probe the case, and for which, physical remand of the suspects should be awarded.

The court, granting the remand, demanded the FIA present a progress report at the next hearing.

The development comes nearly a week after (FIA) Sindh Director Amir Farooqi had revealed that two NADRA officials — both assistant directors — had been arrested for issuing NICs to “militants and others for achieving some illegal gain”.

The FIA Sindh director, addressing a press conference in Karachi, had said the officials — in exchange for money — had issued fake NICs to militants associated with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al Qaeda, and other banned groups.

’39 NADRA officials suspended on corruption charges’

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, speaking at the Senate on Friday, had informed the house that NADRA had suspended 39 officials and lodged FIRs against another 10 personnel on reports of alleged corruption in the Karachi office.

The minister’s statement came after Senator Faisal Ali Subzwari drew the attention of the minister of interior towards the fake CNICs issued by NADRA.

Khan said that the reports of fake CNICs  being issued to a large number of people were not true, however, the investigation team is probing the matter and that NADRA remains vigilant.

The minister said that there was a set procedure of issuing CNICs to eligible citizens after thorough confirmation through different means like fingerprints, personal appearance, submission of certificates, and authorised officers’ letters to ensure authenticity.

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