ISLAMABAD: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Policy Board Chairman Khalid Mirza has criticised the government as well as the the Federal Investigation Agency(FIA) for conducting a raid on the SECP head office.
“Such practice may be justified for those entities that may hide records or facts, but conducting a midnight raid at a regulatory body was an illegal act by the FIA. Will FIA or NAB conduct a midnight raid at any court or a ministry?” Mirza asked in a statement issued from abroad.
Mirza, who is in the US on a personal visit, also said that the policy board will conduct an inquiry into the matter.
“I am not for protecting corrupt elements or corruption in any form — but all the activities of SECP are regulated and documented — such acts by any investigation agency will eventually lead to lowering the stature of SECP in the eyes of corporate sector and other entities regulated by the commission,” he deplored.
He also referred to the FIA raid on the SECP head office on the night of Dec 26, 2018 and said that the agency staff pondered for more than one hour only to show their lack of understanding, but all the relevant documents were given to them by the SECP officials who arrived around one hour after the raid as they were informed by the security staff.
Mirza said that the FIA, NAB or any other institution could have obtained all the required documents simply by making an official demand.
“I will write to the SECP that they too should have their prestige and not allow any agency to get into the office this way, besides I will also write to the (finance) minister that lowering the stature of SECP or any other regulator will not benefit the ongoing fight against corruption,” he added.
Mirza is the first chairman of SECP Policy Board from the private sector as the previous governments had traditionally given the charge to secretary finance.
Speaking on the JIT report he said where it was alleged that the SECP official did not protect the minority shareholders as the time of mergers of Atlas Bank, Mybank, Arif Habib Bank with Summit Bank. “I do not contest the understanding of those who placed this observation in the JIT report, but usually people know that all bank mergers are approved by the State Bank, not the SECP,” he remarked.
He added that there were legal ways to move forward, seek information and correct the wrongdoings but creating hype and an environment of disrespect for institutions was not correct.
The JIT report on fake accounts case was submitted in the Supreme Court and the observation no.70 of the report accused SECP officials for not protecting the interests of minority shareholders in the merger of three loss-making banks with Summit Bank.
Based on JIT report the FIA team raided SECP head office late night last week and took away some relevant files