x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pakistan waits on UAE extradition decision for oil chief accused of Dh3.1bn embezzlement

Official from Pakistan embassy says they expect a decision to be allowed to extradite Tauqir Sadiq, the former head of Pakistan's oil and gas regulator, soon.

DUBAI // A decision on the extradition of Tauqir Sadiq, the former head of Pakistan’s oil and gas regulator who is accused of embezzling US$850 million (Dh3.1 billion), is expected soon, said a Pakistan Embassy official.

Mr Sadiq has been in police custody since his arrest in the capital nearly 10 weeks ago.

Extradition documents from Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the embassy on February 24.

“At the moment we don’t know when the decision will be made,” said an official at the embassy in Abu Dhabi. “I think they are looking into some procedural matters in regards to the executive and judicial branches of the UAE Government. We hope that it will be approved soon,” he said.

“The UAE has been extremely cooperative in relation to this matter and all that is remaining is for some procedures to be sorted out.”

Investigators in Pakistan have accused Mr Sadiq of taking Dh?3bn in kickbacks and commission while he was  head of Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority between 2009 and 2011.

The charges against Mr Sadiq could also lead to a criminal case against Pakistan’s prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Mr Ashraf was water and power minister during Mr Sadiq’s time as oil and gas regulator. Mr Sadiq fled Pakistan a year ago.

nhanif@thenational.ae