'Breakthrough' in Eden Housing scam as ex-CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry's son-in-law arrested from Dubai

A son-in-law of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Chaudhry has been arrested from Dubai in a case regarding the multi-billion Eden Housing Society scam, in what Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry described as a "breakthrough" on Wednesday.

The minister termed the arrest of Murtaza Amjad by the Federal Investigation Agency in UAE as a "major success" in the government's campaign for accountability. The warrants for his arrest were issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He claimed that former CJP Chaudhry had made the "shocking" decision by hearing a case regarding the housing scheme himself, and later gave "relief" to its owners because they were the in-laws of his daughter.

The minister said others accused of allegedly cheating people who had invested their money in the Eden Housing Society included Iftikhar Chaudhry's son, Arsalan Iftikhar, his daughter and the father-in-law of his daughter.

See: The challenge of accountability in ‘Naya Pakistan’

Some concrete development regarding the arrest of the other accused is expected to emerge today, Fawad added.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has sought a report regarding arrests in the case within 24 hours.

The affectees of the Eden Housing Society had on Sunday held a demonstration outside the Lahore residence of Prime Minister Khan, urging him to help them recover their hard-earned money allegedly looted by the group that launched the housing scheme.

The protesters demanded that the PTI government bring Eden Housing group owner Dr Amjad and others back from Canada and recover the looted money from them or ensure the group completed the project and handed them over the houses and plots promised to them.

There are at least 10,000 affectees of the group. Dr Amjad and his two sons had managed to flee the country in April last and travel to Canada as the interior ministry did not put their names on the the Exit Control List despite a request by NAB.

NAB has estimated the property seized from the Eden group to be worth up to Rs20bn. The bureau has claimed that it would compensate the affectees soon.

In June, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had written a letter to NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, asking him to launch an investigation against ex-CJP Chaudhry and his family for allegedly receiving benefits in the scam of the failed Eden Housing Society.

Taking to Dawn at the time, Fawad had claimed that Chaudhry’s daughter got married to the son of Eden Housing Society's owner at a time when her father as the chief justice of the country was hearing a case regarding alleged irregularities in the housing scheme.

He had claimed that after the marriage, the names of the housing scheme’s owners had been removed from ECL and they later left the country.



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