Pir Double Shah arrested
By Hasan Ali
LAHORE: Ghakar police on Friday arrested Syed Sibtul Hasan Shah, known as Pir Double Shah, from his Nazimabad house in a Rs 30,000 robbery case registered against him.
Shah was famous for ‘doubling’ the money deposited with him in 70 days. People in northern Punjab believe that he has doubled billions of rupees of his ‘clients’. Majority of his clients were residents of Gujranwala, Gujrat, Wazirabad, Sialkot and Hafizabad.
Ghakar police SHO Amir Shaheen Gondal told Daily Times that Muhammad Ishtiaq, a resident of Ghakar Mandi, had lodged an FIR, alleging that Shah and his three accomplices had robbed Rs 30,000 from his house last month.
Gondal said police and other law-enforcement agencies conducted a raid on the house of Shah in plainclothes. “He did not offer any resistance,” the SHO said, adding that his accomplices were still at large. “Qaiser, one of Shah’s accomplices, was a Punjab Police driver at Wazirabad Sadar police station. He later left the job and joined Shah,” the SHO said.
Shah, who was a schoolteacher in Wazirabad, started the ‘business’ of doubling money a couple of years ago. It is learnt that he had so far made transactions of around Rs 40 billion.
As his business expanded, dozens of people started working with him as his agents. He had also opened sub offices in various cities of the Punjab. The news of Shah being arrested spread like a fire. Those who have deposited their money with Shah gathered outside his and his agents’ houses. Around 1,000 people were seen outside his house in Nazimabad.
“I cannot understand that a person, who has returned around Rs 40 billion to his clients, has been arrested for a mere Rs 30,000 robbery,” said Asghar Ali, who runs a small shop in Wazirabad, He too had received Rs 100,000 from Shah last month against an investment of Rs 50,000.
A police official, seeking anonymity, said he had deposited Rs 50,000 with Pir Double Shah on April 11. “I am in a fix how to reclaim my money,” he said.
Shugran Bibi, a resident of Hafizabad, was sitting outside Shah’s house. She said she had given Rs 100,000 to Shah last week after selling jewellery.
Muhammad Shabir, 75, said he had deposited Rs 250,000. “I do not know how to get my money back,” he said. A large number of people also gathered outside a sub office of Pir Double Shah in Sambrial. The office, which is run by Shah’s brother-in-law Tasawar Shah, was locked by Tasawar’s guards. They told people that the office would be opened next morning. “Tasawar has gone to Islamabad to resolve the issue with Federal Law Minister Wasi Zafar,” they said.
The minister, however, denied having information of such meeting. Hundreds of residents of Wazirabad gathered at Wazirabad bypass and protested in favour of Pir Double Shah. They demanded that the authorities concerned release him. The law-enforcement agencies and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have got registered several cases against Shah with Wazirabad police. They have also recovered Rs 17 million from his residence.