You are on page 1of 78

CHAPTER 4

OCCUPATIONAL CRIMES
Occupational crime is a category of white-collar crimes that is the biggest in quantum and
dimension as compared to other categories. Occupational crimes are illegal acts made
possible through ones lawful employment or occupational activity. It is the secretive
violation of law and norms regulating the occupational activities of individuals. All
occupations present some opportunities for criminal behavior. Such deviance is ignored
being trick of the trade. A milk seller makes money by diluting the milk; a commodity
trader multiplies his profits by mixing different grades of merchandise he deals in. A
ware house keeper manipulates stocks for quick gains. A grocer increases price of daily
use items by hoarding and withholding supplies to extort more profits from consumers. A
developer cuts corners by saving costs on houses he sells to consumers. Purchasing agent
makes money by receiving kickbacks. A quack cheats his unsuspecting clients by
offering treatments that he is not capable of providing. A pharmacist sells fake medicines
that have no desired medicinal effect. A businessman evades taxes by all types of
manipulations at hand. A police man extorts money from vulnerable people by misusing
his authority. A money exchange dealer involves himself in making quick money by
establishing parallel banking system facilitating money transfers and laundering. A
government official seeks bribe to facilitate the public access to services they are
rightfully entitled. In all these and many other cases, it is the position of power and trust
that induces glamour for criminal behavior and these positions are exploited by the whitecollar criminals for financial and other gains. Occupational crimes can be committed by
anyone engaged in a legitimate occupational activity and its scope and dimension is
wider than any other type of white-collar crime activity.

Occupational crimes may overlap other white-collar crimes where it is difficult to


differentiate between the two. Fraud, deceit, exploitation and secrecy are the essence of
occupational crimes. Although the majority of occupational crimes are small and often go
undetected or unreported, the cumulative economic impact of such crimes can be
significant (Leap, 2007). It is indeed not only the economic loss, but it is physical damage

100

also that leads to ill effects on health of the victims that include the general consumers.
Sale of spurious drugs, poor and adulterated quality of food items, hazardous candies,
recirculation of used syringes and other hospital waste, dangerous or useless medicines
proposed by quacks are some examples. These occupational crimes may be committed by
individuals alone or as a group depending upon environment in which the perpetrator is
able to trap a victim and vulnerability of the victim in given social scenario. A grocery
seller may be the single beneficiary when he sells commodities at higher price by mixing
inferior quality or by selling packs of a product having less weight than indicated. On the
other hand, a person who goes to an electric utility company for an electric connection
might have to face a stream of individuals such as, a middleman to bribe the
superintendent, a foreman to confirm technical feasibility, fee clerks and the lineman who
is to install the electric meter. An individual seeking to get his new passport will have to
face failure or difficulties and hire a middle man who in turn deals with everybody else
who matters in this process and quickly gets the passport made. In most of the cases for
occupational crimes, the motive is to make money in ordinary course of occupational
activity. This occupational activity is legitimate or is manifested as such or is socially
accepted.

A grocery seller is in legitimate occupational activity. An employment

exchange company having no vacancies and still luring their victims to pay fee for good
job is manifesting legitimacy. A quack or faith healer claiming direct conduit to a
supernatural being is socially accepted and his occupational activity may not be
legitimate.

The data connected with this part of the humble work pertains to a group of occupational
crimes that are relevant to everyday life and affect economic and social life of society in
general.
CONSUMERS RELATED CRIMES
The manufacturing and sale of unsafe products may not violate specific laws if at all they
exist, but these practices are definitely unethical, unsafe, violent and reproachable acts
causing harm to society. Crimes against consumers not only are restricted to sale and
manufacturing of dangerous product but it also includes fraud and deception against the

101

consumers. In this context a variety of deceitful practices that are observable and are
observed daily and are most pronounced; include manufacturing and sale of spurious
beverages, pressure meat, potentially dangerous products like sale of gutka, spurious
drugs and poly pharmacy, under-weighing of products at sale, mixing and mis-grading of
commodities. The potential of a product to harm society obviously varies from product to
product and deceitful practices involved. Some products or deceitful practices may cause
restricted harm of loss of money only. Others may have harms coupled with dangerous
effects on health along with loss of money. Some of the cases underlined during this
humble work have been included as case samples to highlight white-collar crime from
this perspective of crime against consumers.

Hazardous Products

Chewing is one of the mans oldest habits. This habit has prevailed in human history in
one form or the other. In Indo-Pak region this habit has been a rich cultural practice
where chewing of sweetened eureka nuts, betel leaf or paan and mainpuri etc and
offering it to guests remained a mark of hospitality for elite classes. This practice is
continuing even now. Later, this chewing habit was transformed to replace tobacco
smoking considering it to be a safe alternative. With passage of time, this alternate
proved even more dangerous as many harmful ingredients like low quality tobacco,
harmful food colors, aniseed, betel nuts, and other substances were mixed to manufacture
the chewing stuff. The most dangerous among these chewing substances has been a
product popularly known as gutka that contains low quality tobacco, eureka nuts, slaked
lime, catechu or katha, textile dyes as food colors, and aspartame and saccharine are used
as sweeteners in place of sugar. This chewing habit starts among the children in early age
and is major cause of mouth cancer. Chewing of gutka and mainpuri is found to be 50
times dangerous and a major cause behind cancer and cardiac illness (Dr.Mehboob,
personal communication, December 13, 2007). A study conducted by a local hospital
revealed that 70 percent of primary school children chew betel nut and 25 percent of
them consume betel leaf on daily basis (Agha Khan University, 2006). Another study
revealed that cancer of oral cavity ranked sixth in the world but in Karachi it ranked

102

second in both sexes and the highest in the world. This high rate is attributed to paan,
eureka nuts and gutka (Bhurgri, 2005). Five to six cases of oral cancer are reported daily
at Jinnah post graduate Medical Centre and 8 to 10 are reported at civil hospital (Oral
Cancer, 2007). A study by students of department of social work, university of Karachi,
revealed that 93 per cent of the students in 50 government and private schools in Saddar
town spent their pocket money on buying sweetened eureka nuts and supari. Remaining 7
percent bought gutka (Department of Social Work, 2006). An oncologist well conversant
with the problem and treatment of the citys patients explained horrifying process of
treatment that is required for treatment of patients affected by gutka and other products:

The stiffness of muscles and tissue of mouth, with tongue turning into a mere
rubber strap, was caused due to the prolonged chewing of supari and gutka. These
conditions are manifestation of the early stage oral cancer which not only has no
remedy but is also followed by horrifying sequence of control and treatment
methods as the patients mouth has to be opened forcefully with certain
instruments and retained in proper position with the help of wood or plastic strips
to prevent further stricture. (Dr.Manzoor, August 16, 2006)
Harmful Effects

A lot of hew and cry is raised against gutka in public meetings, in seminars, by medical
professionals, politicians and print and electronic media. Thus the provincial government
was forced to ban manufacturing and sale of gutka in 2000. However, the manufacturing
and sale of the dangerous product is not only continuing but is also being imported from
India. A visit of Jordia bazaar, countrys biggest wholesale grocery market, revealed that
over 120 brands of gutka are available for sale. This is an indicator how dichotomic our
society is about issues of public importance. A prominent ENT specialist of Jinnah Post
Graduate Medical Centre disclosed:

People living in the 15-million strong mega city of Karachi have the biggest
incidence of oral cancer, necessarily because of consumption of betel nuts.
Karachiites have 55% of all oral cancers occurring in the country. Incidence of
oral cancer was 2 to 4 percent in Europe but it was as high as 40 percent in the
Indo-Pak subcontinent. These betel nuts have a fungus which releases a toxin that
produces cancer and since the people of subcontinent have the habit of chewing

103

betel nuts, they are more prone to oral cancer. This fungus is invisible because
gutka and Manipuri marketed in town are coated with non-food colors and
sweeteners, which are extremely injurious to health. Previously people older than
50 years were found with oral cancer but now this deadly disease is found even in
children of 12 years of age since they chew gutka. This was a potential loss to the
country. The shops selling these cigarettes and gutka are cancer shops and
unfortunately are functioning in almost every nook and corner despite ban.(Prof.
Rafi, Personal communication, August 27, 2007).
These words from an expert on one hand highlight the harms caused by the dangerous
product to the society, and at the same time underscore de-sanitization of society and
particularly of those using this poison. Failure of the government to enforce the ban
already imposed, leads us to believe how ineffective the system of governance has
become and how the government attaches low priority to overcome the problem. If it
was a matter threatening the existence of the political status quo, the government would
have not hesitated to turn heaven into hell. It is the culture of compromise on issues of
utmost public importance that is allowing this crime against society to thrive. Situation
worsens where the habitual chewer of gutka spoils his health and his first contact is with
a quack that causes substantial loss of time and thus the treatment becomes incurable.

Another, ENT specialist explained about prevalence of cancer among school children:

Teenagers especially girls are now becoming victims of oral submucous fibrosis,
because they chew betel nuts. This disease was not cancer, but it makes
movement of jaws very difficult and the affected person cant open his/her mouth
beyond one inch or so. The school and college children are most vulnerable
because they chew betel nuts just as a fashion and often impressed by their peers.
Some brands of betel nuts and gutka even were found contaminated with low
levels of morphine and other addiction causing agents. (Dr. Sajjad, personal
communication, September 25 2007).
Another ENT surgeon explained harmful effects of gutka:
Certain viruses also had role in spreading cancer. Eureka nuts used in gutka
contain fungi which produces certain toxins called aflatoxins. There are also other
carcinogens in these products like nickel, chromium etc. These shops selling
gutka and betel nuts are cancer shops and their salesmen are death traders. Young
people are increasingly being diagnosed in advance stages of cancer. (Dr. Umer,
personal communication September 23, 2007).

104

The menace of gutka and related products, were so seriously felt by some citizens that
many complaints were lodged with the Provincial Ombudsman by many parents
complaining that their children were exposed to oral diseases because they were
surrounded by venders selling supari, betel nuts and gutka at the gates of the schools.
Earlier the Ombudsman had already advised the provincial government about three years
back; to ban manufacture, sale and use of gutka as rampant manufacturing and sale was
causing irreparable harm to health of children across the province. The provincial
government is yet to pass a law to contain the menace despite passage of 4 years by now.
Thanks to vested interests.

With fresh complaints, thorough investigation of the matter was carried out and expert
comments were also invited from some ENT specialists. A report prepared after a
detailed analysis of the samples collected from market, of both Pakistani and Indian
brands, gave stunning facts. These samples included aniseed, betel nuts; chocolate coated
nuts, sugar-coated aniseed, dry fruit and gutka. Out of 36 samples analyzed, 10 gave a
positive identification of diacety morphine heroin. Nine samples had low heroin contents.
The testing methods conformed to international standards. The report further added that
the diacety morphine present in the samples had also been quantified. Six samples
extracted with water also developed fungal growth within 48 hours, showing poor
hygienic conditions during packing or preparation. The same report referred to an earlier
report of 1997, when physical search of about 18000 students appearing in various exams
revealed that 25 to 28 percent of them were chewing some sort of supari, betel nuts,
aniseed or other similar material. It was also found that most of the students were
chewing only particular brands. Some students interviewed for indulgence in this habit,
accepted that when chewed once, they feel like taking another. Based on these
observations, it was inferred in the said report that possibility of addiction causing agents,
in these hazardous products could not be ruled out (Department of Chemistry, 2004). In a
moot on dental health, experts disclosed that betel nuts used in manufacturing of gutka
were contaminated with two lethal chemicals one of these was used in tannery units
(Dental Congress, 2006).

105

This report about the harmful substances may be an example to reflect how white-collar
criminals are able to play havoc with the lives of innocent citizens to keep its price low
and making it attractive for the victims. The situation also highlights how ignorant the
government is about their fundamental responsibility of protecting lives of their citizens.
As if potential harmful effects of these products were not enough to bring sure death to
their victims, the manufacturers who are perhaps immune to moral values and ethical
standards, started adding addiction-causing substances into these products to ensure sure
profits on regular basis.

Dynamics of Illegal Manufacturing and Sale

The indicate hazardous products made by unscrupulous white-collar criminals are


available in biggest wholesale grocery market of Jodia Bazar in a number of fancy
packing, styles and colors to lure the victims. One can find no details of manufacturers,
address, dates of manufacturing and expiry which is a mandatory requirement under the
food laws. A lot of stuff imported from India is also available without any check. In
December 2004, a draft law banning sale of these hazardous products was prepared and
sent to law ministry, but due to lack of political will, it is yet to be approved even after
passage of 4 years. This lack of political will may perhaps be seen tainted with motives
influenced by vested interest manufacturers who in our culture feel no difficulty to move
things to suite their interests. Whenever waves against these hazardous products,
particularly against gutka are created in the media, the officials of city district
government with the assistance of police, conduct raids on kiosks and outlets selling this
poison. No serious steps are taken to raid manufacturing facilities of these products and
still no effort has been made to impose ban on import from India. It may not be
surprising if someone hears a concerned government official neutralizing this necessity of
banning import from India claiming that such import was bringing revenue. Yet, if
banned, the import will convert into smuggling and these products may be sold cheaper
in the market. A visit to gutka making outlets in Aurangee Town areas revealed that these
manufacturing outlets were functioning like small cottage industries, no typical

106

machinery was required, one only need domestic mixtures, water and ingredients
required for manufacturing. These are limestone, tobacco, betel leaves, sweeteners, food
colors and fancy sachets for packing. An owner of a manufacturing outlet justifies his
wrongdoing in following words:

We are not involved in any illegal activity and doing nothing wrong. We have
regular demand from wholesale market and thus we are regularly supplying. The
consumers should know about any harmful effects of our products and if they do
not want to use it we do not compel them. Every user of our products uses it for
his own enchantment and these are cheaper than smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes
are also claimed to be harmful and everybody is using it. Nobody is imposing ban
on sale of cigarettes, then why should sale of gutka be stopped. Similar is the case
with Naswari (another moist paste that is often stuck behind the back of gums,
producing a lot of colored, ill-smelling spit. explanation added). We occasionally
hear about imposition of ban on sale of gutka but neither our production was
stopped nor our vehicles carrying supplies to wholesale market were raided. The
production is continuing in other parts of city like Mehmoodabad, Korangee and
Landhi areas. (Fayaz, personal communication, December 9, 2007).
Criticizing occasional raids by city district government officials, an office bearer of the
Whole Sale Grocers market in Jodia bazaar explained his difficulties by stating that
market has demand for these products and we have supplies from the manufacturers. The
government raids our shops instead of stopping manufacturing of these products, if these
were really illegal. It is only to harass the traders without any seriousness to check sale of
these products if these are dangerous to human health. These products are not only being
manufactured but also are being imported from India. It is easy to check import but
government is doing nothing to ban its import. How in-country manufacturing can be
stopped when import is being allowed (Noorani, personal communication, October 6,
2007).
These arguments from the manufacturer and trader indicate how oblivious they are about
the harm they are causing to the society and how they forget their social obligation. Their
wanton disregard to the interests of society and responsibility towards collective good in
pursuits of selfish goals is what this research work refers to as destigmatization. Equally
disappointing is the law enforcement mechanism that condones this sort of attitude that
lets loose these deviants against the society. Despite the fact that symptoms of the

107

problem are already visible, there is hew and cry, professionals are voicing concerns
about ill effects of hazardous products, the system of governance is non responsive and
monitoring mechanism in non existent.

The efforts of the government are merely

cosmetic work to hoodwink those raising voice against the menace, as there appear no
concrete steps to eliminate the evil. There is no law that prohibits manufacturing and
sales and yet it is uncertain how law will be enforced. This anomic phenomenon leads us
to a situation that provides fertile ground for the white-collar crime to flourish.

Due to obvious glamour the goals of financial gains are so strongly protected that these
desensitized manufacturers do not hesitate to manipulate their way through the courts.
Samples of some products collected from a manufacturer were tested from many
laboratories and it was found that these were harmful for human health as these contained
carcinogenic agents.

The city district government; body responsible under law to

regulate eatables; ceased the manufacturing facility and cancelled license of the
manufacturer. He approached the High Court claiming his right of free trade guaranteed
under the constitutions of Pakistan. The High Court dismissed his petition holding that no
fundamental right was available to endanger human life (High court upholds, 2005).
Earlier, High Court Hyderabad bench also dismissed two identical petitions on same
grounds. In one of such petitions the High Court provided an option to the petitioners to
get their product tested from a competent lab and if it was found safe for consumers, then
sale may be allowed but they declined to go for such testing and still insisted that they be
allowed to sell these products on the grounds that these were less harmful than cigarettes,
a senseless argument. This mind set of traders signifies deep rooted state of social malady
that neutralizes guilt and promotes de-stigmatization in view of glamorous goals of
money.

Enigma of Ineffective Enforcement

Making of laws is one responsibility of state; its enforcement is bigger obligation for state
agents. It is a peculiar problem of our society that failure of enforcement has placed the
society in an enigmatic situation. This pattern of non enforcement is visible in every field

108

of social life. This non enforcement is one of the principal cause of Glamourization and
de-stigmatization of crime.

With this context also, there is expressed provision of law

contained in Sind Food Act, 1947 that prohibits mixing, coloring and sale of products that
are injurious to health. The major problem lies in enforcing this law. There are no
effective mechanism in place that ensures enforcement of these laws. This is mainly due
incapacity of law enforcers and incapacity of the system of enforcement. Regarding the
ineffectiveness of ban on sale of gutka, Chairman of a consumer rights NGO recalled that
former chief minister of Bihar Mr. Lallo Parshad Yadev had expressed his astonishment
over the open sale of lethal gutka in markets in Rawalpindi. Mr. Yadev had pointed out
that such things were already banned in India. The ban on sale and manufacturing has
been imposed ten times but it has proved ineffective as there is no enforcement
mechanism in place neither there is a will to enforce it. (Mr.Maker, personal
communication, March 3, 2007). This scenario explains how desensitized the government
and society is in enforcing their own orders and how effective the vested interest
manufacturers and sellers are that they are able to act in a way that challenges the writ of
the government without any fear of apprehensions. An editorial in a national daily
highlights this problem of non enforcement:

Decision by the government to ban the production and sale of gutka is likely to
be met with skepticism. It is not the first time that a decision meant for the benefit
of peoples health has been taken but none of the earlier ones have been enforced
in right spirit, including previous attempts at banning the gutka. After all, the ban
on smoking in public places, to cite just one example, was prescribed for the
reason that smoking is injurious to health. Yet it is widely flouted. Those involved
in production and sale of gutka too are likely to remain unaffected by the ban for
they will find ingenious ways to sidestep production. This must not be allowed to
happen. For that the government will have to remain alert and watchful and
ensure that its prohibition is strictly followed and enforced. Those found violating
the ban or abetting the violators should be strictly dealt with. (Enforcing ban on
gutka, 2006).
By making a law or passing an order under a law, the government establishes writ of the
state and makes its presence felt by preserving order in society. Where such laws are
made and orders are passed and then enforcement is not ensured; such situation
inculcates a habit of disrespect for rule law among the citizens. This as a result promotes

109

lawlessness. There have been several occasions when an order under a law is passed and
its implementation is not ensured. Some of the orders that are often violated in similar
fashion, include compulsory use of helmet for motor cyclists, restriction on encroachment
on public places, violation of building construction by-laws, no smoking in public places,
ban on plastic bags, action against black windows on vehicles, prohibition of fancy
number plates, smoke emitting vehicle and sale of cigarettes to under aged. The reasons
for non enforcement may include lack of will, connivance of government officials with
the violators, bribery and corruption, interference by an influential and sometimes lack of
resources. This dangerous trend in non enforcement is inculcating a culture of
compromise and this culture of compromise is indeed promoting destigmatization. This
destigmatization encourages the perpetrator to commit a crime. Thus the glamour for
crime increases.

Apathetic Consumers

One of the significant observations emerging during this study is consumers apathy to
problems affecting their interests. This apathetic approach is promoting Glamourization
of white-collar crime. Consumers own perception about hazardous effects of gutka play
vital role in encouraging its manufacturing and sale. An ENT specialist and an office
bearer of Pakistan Medical Association asserted that unless common people develop their
own perception about negative aspects of consuming gutka, its sale would show no
decline. Despite having a realization of the serious repercussions, majority of the
consumers seemed not ready to quit chewing gutka and other items. Such items cause
mouth and tongue cancer, tonsil laryngeal carcinoma which accounts for 70 to 80 percent
of all cancer cases. Globally, oral cancers account for three percent of all cancer cases but
in Pakistan this number is as high as 40 percent. (Dr. Qaiser, personal communication
March 5, 2007). This problem of consumer apathy is seen across the society. This
approach has very complex background where authoritarian rule in past decades have
shaped collective group mind of society that emanates from fear, harassment, coercion
and injustice. There are cultural dynamics too operating behind this apathy. When elders
in a family chew the hazardous stuff, the youngsters are bound to follow them as the

110

elder being role model for the youngsters, is imitated by them. The elders loose moral
authority to question these youngsters or ask them to stay away from the poison. The
sellers ignore their social responsibility towards the society they belong in view of reward
for their deviant occupational activity. A combination of multiple factors operates behind
their selfish pursuits of profit. The watch dogs of municipal health department remain
silent over this slow poisoning of community. They remain complacent by design by
issuing orders only. Lack of will, bribery and corruption, influential role, lack of
resources and silent and apathetic society are some of the factors contributing to this non
enforcement. This non enforcement reduces the chances of punishment for the offenders
and thus crime becomes more rewarding rational choice. The offender thus feels no
hesitation to deviate for profit in such apathetic setting. This de-stigmatization makes the
crime more glamorous.

TOXIC LIQUOR

Pakistani society is mostly inhabited by Muslims and composition of minorities of other


religions is less than two percent. Taking alcohol is forbidden by religious injunctions
and its import or manufacture is completely banned as per import laws to preserve
religious norms of culture (Government of Pakistan, 2007a). Not even a drop has been
imported during the last forty years but yet it is no big deal to find alcohol of any brand
and make through underworld net-works. Local brewery manufactures liquor for
exclusive use by minorities. Licensed outlets have been set up in city to serve their needs.
In this garb, influential and elite classes are patronizing a network of sale and
distribution. Some of the organized individuals are manufacturing local brands of
hazardous quality that is normally sold to lower classes of society. Headlines in print and
electronic media occasionally hit the news highlighting deaths of people at one place or
the other who die of consuming toxic alcohol.

Two or three incidents of tragic deaths

are heard in a year news of people falling sick is occasionally heard every other day. One
or two causalities that occur every month go un-noticed as relative hide it from media and
police. (Ahmed, 2007). Alternatively they end up with private health facilities and pay
the doctors whatever they demand to hide identity of the patient and cause of illness. This

111

is a culture driven way of avoiding stigma. In September this year 2007, city hospitals
were packed with patients having serious symptoms of nausea, severe cramps, shaking
and blurred eye sight. Some were brought unconscious (Toxic liquor, 2007). All of
them consumed liquor purchased from a source. The senior police officers promptly
suspended police officer in-charge of the police station to mitigate public and media
outcries. The provincial government suspended three excise officers for negligence after
pressure from media. No heads rolled for this violent white-collar crime that brought
disaster to many families. A police officer explained his experience regarding this illegal
business:

I was in-charge of a police station in a posh locality of the city. I had information
that an organized gang was selling all varieties of alcohol in the area. While on
patrolling we intercepted a consignment of foreign liquor in a vehicle. We
escorted the vehicle and the driver and his accomplice to the police station, both
were non-Muslims. As soon as I reached the police station, I was informed by my
subordinate that senior police officer wanted to speak to me urgently. I was
admonished by my superiors for intercepting the consignment and was also
persuaded that we should not interfere with civil liberties of non-Muslims. I knew
that the organized gangs were using these non-Muslims as a cover to further their
activities. I was left with no options except to let them walk away. After a few
days one of my subordinate advised me to turn a blind eye towards them if I was
to survive on my job. Later, I received a formal offer of monthly package if I keep
my eyes closed with an advice to accept it or else I would be no more in-charge of
the police station. They are well connected and we have no institutional support. I
know at least 11 places where illegal manufacturing of toxic liquor is taking
place. There are about 50 outlets selling this liquor. Since there is lot of money in
this business, it is very difficult to stop it.(Waqif, personal communication,
October 13, 2007).
It is political will and professional pride of law enforcers that is needed to curb such
organized crime. Where regulatory and policing mechanism is non functional, connives
with the perpetrators and become helpless, the system looses its capacity to check the
crime.

The illegal liquor comprises methyl alcohol blended with other chemicals that are
poisonous for human body and is meant for use in industries. It generates dangerous type
of acids in human body that can cause death before any first aid is provided. There are

112

organized syndicates in city for manufacturing and sale of this liquor. It is called Kuppi
and desi sharab or Tharra in local parlance. The poor localities of the city are usual
targets for sales. Alcohol of any other imported brands and origin is available and is often
delivered at home or any given location. This is smuggled from India and Dubai through
land and sea routes. A senior police officer explained: Demand of various types of
alcohol increases on religious occasions like Christmas and Eid. Locally made toxic
liquor is cheap and hence is preference of the poor. Some consume it because of
addictions and others just for fun. It is sometimes sold in polythene bags and plastic
bottles depending upon money available with the buyer. Polythene bag full of liquor is
sold for Rs.70 to 100. A bottle is available for Rs. 150 to 200. (Waqif, personal
communication, October 8, 2007).

Desi sharab (alcohol) is made from molasses available from sugar mills. There are
decades old crude ways of extracting alcohol from molasses through distillation. There
are no checks on sale of molasses from sugar industry and any body motivated to involve
in this illegal business, can get it. Where the person making it is not well experienced, the
prepared liquor is bound to become toxic. Production, sale and trafficking of alcohol
carries stringent penalty under Islamic laws but the business keeps going because of high
reward. Where ideals of acquiring money are achievable through criminal means, other
ideals of high value are ignored. Although ideals of religious texture have core values in
normative structure of the society, even these are ignored by the white-collar criminals in
view of glamorous pursuits of money. This is true for those directly involved in the
illegal business, the police officials who facilitate this criminal activity and the influential
wielding power patronizing this crime. Their focus is on their cultural goals of acquiring
money by all means, and thus religious goals are de-emphasized. This is how glamour,
crime and de-stigmatization move together.

A senior police officer explained mechanics of this crime:

There is general assessment among senior officers that illegal trade of liquor was
thriving under the patronage of area police. Local production of liquor was limited to few
places, but it is available all over city. Supply and demand may vary depending largely

113

on how local police responds to this criminal activity. Bribery is the major catalyst that
facilitates this crime, but it is not the only factor in preventing local police to take action
against the perpetrators. There is also influence from higher levels, that protects interests
of the illegal business, and if the police officers act with conviction, they will be asking
for trouble. They find it wise to co-operate and share the benefit. After all the business is
thriving because of demand from the public.(Zamin, personal communication, October
11, 2007).
These comments explain the dynamics how this organized crime of sale of liquor
continues. The perpetrator of this type of crime is required to cultivate friendship with
some senior bureaucrat or other influential that can protect the business interests. One has
to keep palm of the area police greasy all the time. A combination of money and
influence will ensure that business goes on. Even if few people die by taking toxic liquor,
it does not matter. After a few days of cries in media and sometimes by civil society, the
dust settles down and business is resumed. Where money plays an instrumental role in
crime dynamics, there is lot of glamour for offenders and this glamour increases intensity
and dimension of crime, criminal and criminality. The society becomes anomic when
social, moral, legal and religious norms are ignored and goals of money coming by all
means are preferred. Use of this money earned through criminal means, de-stigmatizes
the crime for law enforcers, perpetrators and for those who patronize this type of
criminality.

PRESSURE MEAT

It may be amazing to know of a unique way of white-collar criminality. It is a novel way


of minting money by some unscrupulous white-collar criminals who adulterate meat with
water, an unbelievable description. It may sound unbelievable but this novel technique is
used to multiply profits. There are a number of unauthorized small slaughter houses
operating in suburbs of city, thanks to non enforcement of law. Unauthorized
slaughtering is carried out in these butcheries and novel method is applied to cheat the
unsuspecting customers. An amazing but highly condemnable procedure is used to
increase weight and texture of the meat for sale to customers. After slaughtering and
removal of skin when blood is completely discharged and other organs of animals i.e
buffalos, cows and goats, are removed, the main heart artery is kept intact. It is cut from

114

the base near the heart and is connected to a low pressure water line. Water is pumped
into main artery and it travels all over body of the carcass ending up at end of capillaries.
. The whole bodys small arteries and capillaries take the water into each cell of flesh and
it is filled with water. This unique operation increases weight of the body by about 24%
and water stays intact unless meat is cooked. The second benefit of this trick is that red
meat of old animal changes color into pinkish after water is added and that is often liked
by the customers for its perceived tenderness. It can be sold as tender meat of calf or
young animals that is more in demand due to its taste and is sold at higher price. The very
nature of this white-collar crime inspires even a neutral person be inquire more and more
about it. There is an authorized slaughter house in cattle colony where slaughtering of
animals from all over city, is carried out under supervision of municipal veterinary
authorities. Slaughtering of animals at any other place is not allowed under the food
laws. However, there are many unauthorized slaughter houses operating in and around
the city where illegal business of slaughtering is carried out. These slaughter houses are
used for preparing pressure meat that is sold cheaper, is liked by consumers due to
appearance and still gives more profit to the sellers. This pressure meat is sold mostly in
poor areas but in recent days it has found its way in other posh areas of the city. There are
at least 11 such slaughterhouses operating only in Korangee area. The marketing of meat
both from government slaughter houses and these illegal outlets is organized through a
net-work of wholesale merchants who act as middle men between suppliers and the
consumers. This pressure meat is traded as a separate variety at about 20 per cent less
price. However, customers are charged at usual market price and in some cases at high
price. Consumers are not aware of this deceit and fraud and only few feel the difference,
once it is cooked and is ready for serving. If a customer complains of excess water, he is
informed that it is coming fresh from butchery. A meat merchant described details of
how this white-collar crime goes unabated:

The pressure meat was initially considered as cheating but with passage of time
it has become an acceptable way of business because it is sold at lower price.
There are merchants exclusively dealing in pressure meat but now some other
wholesale merchants are dealing in both varieties because of its demand and more
profits. Meat merchants find it more convenient to slaughter their animals at these
private slaughter houses because of convenience. They are constrained to pay

115

money as bribery at government slaughter houses even if their animal is healthy.


They also have to pay for both way transportation. It is thus convenient to go to a
private slaughter house nearby and work at choice.(Qureshi, personal
communication, December 8, 2007).
A visit to government slaughter house revealed that slaughtering of animals continues
and each carcass is stamped by the municipal veterinary officer for being healthy.
Practically there is no such veterinary officer present and this ritual is performed by a
laborer. The meat merchants bringing their animals for slaughter are required to pay
money per animal that is a routine business. Slaughtering is prohibited on three days in a
week. However, it is no problem to slaughter the animals even on these days if one is
willing to pay.

After a lot of persuasion Mr Qureshi agreed to arrange a visit of the researcher to a


private slaughter house where pressure meat is prepared. It was a family owned facility.
The owner and his family were found busy in slaughtering and pressure processing the
animals along with their staff. The processed meat was transported to all over city
without any fear or guilt. Any other merchant can bring his own animals for slaughter and
pressure process after they are willing to pay per kilo of meat processed. The water used
for injecting into carcasses comes from normal water tap that is often contaminated and
unsuitable for drinking unless properly boiled. The family members including children
of the age of 14 to 16 years were found actively involved in this illegal business. This is a
dangerous tendency of under aged children socialization in a criminal environment.
When these youngsters start their life in an environment of dishonesty and fraud, they are
bound to grow as hardened crooks to harm the society. The owner of the slaughter house
neutralizes his guilt by explaining:

We are not the only suppliers of pressure meat; there are many others in the city
who are selling this variety. We will lose our business if we do not match the
prices. The wholesalers will not buy from us because of our high price. We work
in clean environment in our slaughter house and government slaughter house is
not that clean. We have to pay money there without any reason and it is better to
work with liberty at our own. Our supplies are going to all over city without any
problems. Our processing technique helps the consumers as this meat take less
time in cooking. (Younis, personal communication, December 12, 2007).

116

Similar reasons were given by a retail seller who insisted that he did not want to get
involved in sale of pressure meat. But when he saw his other colleagues doing it in the
market, he was constrained to follow them because it was bringing more money without
any complaints. He further explained that residual water does not become visible even if
meat is cut into pieces unless the customer has left. Even if there is any complaint from
the customer, he is silenced by arguing that the meat was coming fresh from the butchery.
(Habib, personal communication, December 13, 2007).

This scenario conforms to modeling theory of behavior propounded by Bandora (1997).


The theory relates to acquiring new behaviors, thoughts and feelings by imitating others
usually referred to as models. Such an observation will produce an incentive; any
circumstance that creates an anticipation of positive outcome as a result of performing the
behavior (Bandora, 1989b). According to this theory learning of behavior occurs because
people are aware of consequences of their responses. Reinforcement or rewards for the
performance of behavior takes place when a person observes a model being rewarded for
performing a behavior. In the given scenario, criminal behavior is adopted by pressure
meat sellers when they see others doing it and being rewarded through excessive profits.
This excessive profit is rationalized because of the no fear of being penalized.

FRAUD AND DECEPTION

Double Shah Trickery


This case example relates to looting and plunder of money by one ingenious, enterprising
but unscrupulous swindler named Syed Sibtain Shah. He was euphemistically known as
double Shah among his victims and came to be known as such because he fleeced about
30000 people with an amount of Rs.5.75 billion in three districts of punjab promising that
their investment will be doubled in 70 days. It is the biggest case of financial deceit in
history of the country by a single person against his 30,000 victims. The trickery started
by a retired school teacher commanding lot of credibility among his clients who paid
double money to his clients in only 15 days and later he enhanced the duration to 45 days

117

and when there was tremendous rise in number of investors the duration was increased to
70 days. He established his trust by paying the double amount to a large number of
clients attracting more and more investments and even those doubling their amounts,
reinvested the money to further multiply it. Be a millionaire in a short time was his
motto to attract his clients. He was running a network of over 200 agents and sub agents
in three districts to lure the investors. These agents were paid a lump sum amount of
Rs.5000 per investment of Rs.100, 000. Needy and greedy investors arranged money
from relatives and friends to double it in just 70 days that in all probabilities is
unrealistic. Among his investors included poor and illiterate villagers, daily wage earners,
fixed income classes, some senior government officials from police, FIA and local
government, and some well to do individuals who wanted to get their amounts doubled in
short time. A widow sold her land and cattle to invest Rs.500, 000. She wanted to arrange
marriage of her three daughters. A transporter sold his two vehicles and invested about
1.1 million to get the double amount. Another widow sold her house and invested. A
school teacher pledged her jewelry with a bank and invested for quick return. Some
exporters and industrialists also joined to reinvent their fortune through easy means. A
number of Pakistanis from the area settled abroad preferred double shah to invest their
hard earned money. Some of the clients got advance salaries from their employers and
invested. He wielded lot of influence among politicians and bureaucrats to keep his
business going. He was promptly paying the money to these senior bureaucrats, police
and influential locals on maturity to keep peace with time. His daily collections were
double of the amounts he was returning to investors which was keeping his illegal
business afloat and he was earning goodwill out of his dealings and honored
commitments. Local banks experienced a trend of declining deposits which they later
attributed to double shahs trickery. While a few of his clients made hay in sun, quite a
majority of them were the sufferers. He was not keeping any formal records of
investments nor was issuing any authentic receipts for amounts received. Just a slip
bearing his signature, amount and date was considered a guarantee more reliable than a
signed bond.

118

Nobody bothered to probe about his business activities and none even thought of how he
could pay back such unrealistic returns. He was picked up by FIA and intelligence
agencies but they were constrained to release him as there was no complainant and no
evidence of his illegal activities. Interestingly, some of the officials investigating his
wrongdoings also invested to double their investments.

Finally, he was arrested by National Accountability Bureau for running a parallel banking
system. During investigation it was revealed that he owned six hotels and an apartment in
Dubai and a gasoline station in his hometown. He was so cunning that he established
such credibility among his clients that they resorted to protests and rallies to pressurize
the government to release him to continue his business. They feared that government
intervention would put their deposits at stake. They did not trust the law enforcers
capability to rescue them, a usual phenomenon in our society. This panicked the investors
and they protested and blocked roads and highways. Seeing the panic among the
investors, a new breed of agents surfaced underground who started contacting victims of
Double Shah, and offered them a 50 percent return of their principal amounts in exchange
for deposit slips issued by Double Shah with an understanding to stay calm. A journalist
having insight into this whole trickery claimed:

This new breed of agents was a genius plan of Double Shah who was still
exploiting his victims to retain half of their money through these agents. These
agents were making use of uncertainty of the situation and lack of credibility of
law enforcers. They were telling the investors that income tax authorities had also
involved themselves and they would investigate source of money from these
troubled victims. Guilty of tax evasion, these victims were willingly returning
their deposit slips to have something rather than having more trouble (Wajahat,
personal communication, December 28, 2007).
Arrest of Double Shah brought disasters among some families that was perhaps evident
sooner or later. At least 6 people including one woman suffered heart attack and died
seeing their dreams transforming into nightmares. After his arrest NAB advertised to
invite the affected investors to lodge their claims against offender to receive back their
money but despite twice extension in date of submission of claims, all of the investors did
not furnish their claims. This was probably due the reason that source of their

119

investments was itself dubious and they feared more trouble from enforcement agencies
than relief. A social enigma faced by the victims, reflecting a combination of guilt and
distrust.

The NAB also prepared a list of beneficiaries who had already doubled their investments
and had safely retrieved it. Their accounts were frozen. These beneficiaries included
some traders, politicians and senior government officials, some police and FIA officials
and few poor villagers. They were embarrassed to find themselves among the distressed
beneficiaries as they were faced with dilemma of disclosing their source of income for
their involvement in the scandal.

As it was a time for general election, Double shah trickery brought double trouble for
politicians. The victims of this scam formed an association to vote only those political
aspirants who could bring their investments back to their pockets. This challenge was
more enigmatic for aspirants from the ruling party because victims blamed them for this
scandal and a belief was prevalent that the offender had backing from influential
politicians and senior government officials to perpetuate his illegal activities.

This case example is complex because of a variety of social phenomena reflecting a


combination of greed and need on part of the victims and on the other hand hints at a
social scenario that indicates absence of institutional framework of social control through
law enforcement. The offender along with his team of agents and sub agents remained
active against his victims in three districts and was at liberty to violate the law. The
victims out of their need and greed trusted him. These victims belonged to a diverse
social stratum including illiterate villagers, educated traders, government officials,
politicians and fixed income groups. Lack of awareness thus cannot be the single factor
that contributed to the crime. These individuals from diverse social backgrounds
participated in facilitating the crime against them and were deprived of their money
through fraud and deception. They allowed the offender to set a stage to launch his
fraudulent plans against the community. None of them bothered to blow a whistle and

120

were concerned with their short cut gains. This social feature was seen across the cross
section of society and has been an emerging trend of this study.

The victims not only were old citizens, but included younger and better educated people
having wider interest in life and had more broad range of activities. The biggest cost that
society pays for fraud crimes is that trustworthiness and honesty is seriously affected and
as a result moral fiber of society is badly damaged. The credibility of the state and trust
between state and the subjects is vitiated with repeated events of fraud and plunder.

In a survey conducted in Illinois on the costs of white-collar crime, 55.2% of the


respondents believed that white-collar crime do more to undermine the morality in
society than do regular street crimes (Cullen et al, 1983). This damage to society depletes
social solidarity and cohesion. Consequently social fabric is torn apart and a culture of
apathy develops where victims stay isolated from these events instead of hitting back.
This is a basic cause of de-stigmatization of white-collar crime in society.

In a study of victims of failed financial institution (Sutherland Industrial and banking


Corporation), (Shover et al,1994) found that victims who lost investment in this
institution due to criminal activities of its officers and employees, harboured feelings of
bitterness and anger even after 10 years. A small number of victims were completely
devastated by their experiences, became severely depressed and felt intense anger. The
impact of such frauds is more devastating on people in Pakistani society where there are
little schemes of rehabilitation, social institutions are so caring and people have little
resources to share others problems. Investments of victims were mostly life time savings
and they had no other means to resolve their problems where money is desperately
needed. Such consequences lead to deprivation and frustration and because of intense
feelings of retribution some of the individuals involve in criminal activities like street
crimes. These victims will have to pass their time in uncertainty as law enforcement
mechanism is not so effective that remedy their deprivation. The case is much more
difficult than it seems as it has no answer for a solution. Such social milieu thus provides

121

a breeding ground for desensitized approach towards social problems and hence crime
flourishes and criminals manage to escape.

Employment Fraud

It is an everyday activity that prints media carries advertisements from several phony
employment companies claiming part time jobs, work at home and earn style of
advertisements. These companies lure in vulnerable and already poor people promising a
second job to supplement their incomes. They exploit their desperation for money to
squeeze more and more and the poor get poorer after entering into their trap.

A clerk seeking a second job to meet his needs explained how he was robbed of his
money. An advertisement appeared in newspapers projecting handsome and easy income
for those looking for a part time job. The job was promised without any outward
mobility. He approached the given address and was informed that there were varieties of
jobs available. He was given a form to fill up and get himself registered. An amount of
Rs.500/00 was charged as registration fee. A large number of other boys and girl were
also there with the same hope of getting a job to supplement their income. He was told
that his case will be processed and was told to come after one week. After one week he
was given another form to indicate his choices for job. He was good at typing and he
preferred to opt for typing as priority one. Other job category included a big variety, such
as stitching, embroidery work, translation, paper envelop making, workers supervision,
salesmen, and the list does not end. When he visited after another week, he was given
bunch of papers from a telephone directory with very small fonts. It was mandatory for
him to type at least 20 pages daily. He was told to complete the job by next evening and
get Rs.300/00 per day. Excited with his new assignment, the poor clerk came back home
and started typing, he then realized that he could only do just five pages daily even if he
missed his office job. Disappointed with his luck, he came back to the employment
exchange in-charge and protested for deceitful treatment. He was surprised to know that
instead of accepting their sharp practices, the in-charge rebuked him with laziness and
charged him with wasting their precious time as the typing work was assigned to them by

122

a foreign company. When he demanded his money paid on account of registration fee, he
was told that the paid money was non refundable being administrative costs.

Later the poor guy learned that a big number of boys and girls have lost their money
having same bitter experience with employment exchange and after about three months
they disappeared from the scene.

There are a number of similar employment exchanges operating in the city often fleecing
money from desperate and needy young boys and girls. They keep shifting their places
and names. Lucrative advertisements are daily seen in the newspapers to attract the
innocent victims. Once disappeared, it is not so easy to trace them. The poor victims are
already resource less and as the money is not big with little chances of recovery, they
often do not follow. These phony employment companies collect contribution from a big
group of victims and their ill gotten money increases. This powerlessness of the poor
facilitates crime of these phony employment companies often run by unscrupulous
individuals with no traceability and identity. Poverty, need, resourcelessness, lack of
opportunity, absence of a watch dog society, lax regulatory mechanism, vulnerability and
disadvantageous position are some of the ingredients of their powerlessness. On the other
hand, opportunism, ability to exploit, manipulation and relatively stronger position of
perpetrators are some of the factors influencing power of these perpetrators that induce
their criminality against their victims. This power gap thus promotes white-collar crime.

Confluence of Guilt and Exploitation

Here is a case how combination of guilt and exploitation glamorizes deviant behaviour
and thus promotes de-stigmatization. A courier working in a local courier company
explained how his supervisor managed to convert his fear of loosing his job into an
opportunity of making money when he could exploit a situation of his mistake and guilt
of his customer. A customer booked a parcel with the courier for delivery in another
country of Europe. The contents of the parcel were stated to be stitched garments and it
was properly sealed and secured. However, during scrutiny at companys sorting office, it

123

was disclosed that a passport with a valid visa for Europe was hidden in the garments.
The clever supervisor was admonished for failing to do his work and the courier was
served notice for negligence. The supervisor somehow satisfied his superior and managed
to retrieve the passport from the parcel and manipulated the customer to exploit his guilt
to fleece money. He phoned the customer at midnight impersonating to be an officer of
the customs working at airport. He told the customer that his parcel sent to a European
country via courier had been blocked as it had a valid European visa. This act was an
offence under immigration laws and amounted to abetment in human trafficking. He
threatened the customer that if the matter was not settled within next 24 hours, he would
have to go behind the bars. The troubled customer took some time to revert. After about
two hours, the supervisor received call from the customer who begged for mercy. He was
advised to arrange Rs.200, 000/00 for the impersonating customs official, failing which
matter would be out of his control as he was bound to bring the matter to the notice of his
superiors. The panicked and guilty customer felt helpless and having no option except to
co-operate with impersonating customs official or face jail. After some negotiations, the
matter was settled at Rs.90, 000/00. The customer was advised to pay the money at a
given location and collect the passport from the same courier outlet after confirming on
phone. The panicked customer paid the money, to get out of trouble that he had brought
to himself and the passport was promptly delivered to him. He took a sigh of relief and
the supervisor made quick money by exploiting his guilt. A meager part was shared with
the counter courier booking the parcel.

This is how guilt a confluence of guilt and exploitation sometime works in a corruption
prone social scenario. This type of exploitation is often associated with police who
routinely demand and receive money when a case is lodged against an individual. Such
money is charged often from both parties. The complaint is forced to pay for making a
sound case. The accused party is charged against a promise of a lenient case. This illegal
practice has perhaps permeated into common mans mind. This technique of fleecing and
extortion was exactly followed by the supervisor who used it with complete articulation.
The customer immediately became responsive to the call of the impersonator because it is
usual that one can expect a call from a government official to resolve ones problem, if

124

one is willing to pay money. The guilty act of the customer was another catalyst to this
criminal compromise when he got panicked on imagining his likelihood of being exposed
to a probable process of law. He even never bothered to check up with Courier Company
nor could he think of another honorable or legal solution.

On one hand his immediate readiness to pay the money reflects a culture that readily
condones corruption and corrupt practices. On the other hand, it reflects how quickly and
short cut solutions are relied instead of following honorable and legal ways to deal with a
trouble. Impersonation of the courier supervisor as customs officials is yet an indicator
how money glamorizes and de-stigmatizes criminal conduct. He must have been sure that
his cleverly tricks would ensure him quick and convenient money and thus because of
this glamour, he exploited the situation in his favor. One might think from where this
assurance of gainful criminality came. Obviously from the culture of de-stigmatization
that fosters glamour for crime.

BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION


Bribery and corruption are deep rooted problems of Pakistani society. This problem is not
however peculiar to Pakistani society only. Many other societies of developing and
developed countries are fraught with corruption in one way or the other. The difference
perhaps is of nature, dimension and form of corruption. For example, it is accepted as
normal business practice in some segments of economies of some countries (Coleman,
2002). During the last about 10 years Transparency International have placed Pakistan
between 2.1 to 2.7 out of clean 10 in their Corruption Perception Index. The word
corruption has its origin in a Latin verb corruptus meaning to break. Literally it
means broken object. Conceptually, corruption is a form of behavior which departs from
ethics, morality, tradition, law and civic virtue (National Accountability Bureau, 2006).
Corruption has various definitions. The United Nations Manual on Anti-Corruption, the
Transparency International and the multilateral financial institutions like World Bank,
and Asian Development Bank define corruption as abuse of public office for private
gains. The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) has defined corruption as a
behavior on part of office holder in public or private sector whereby they improperly and

125

unlawfully enrich themselves and/or those close to them, or induce others to do so, by
misusing the position in which they are placed. Bribery is illegal gain secured through
use of ones position in a given setting in exchange for a deserved or undeserved favour
to someone. In some cases these gains are secured through exploitation, blackmail or
even through extortion.

Bribery and corruption in our society have a history of decades. One of the major
contributors to this problem is continuing crisis of political instability and illegitimacy.
The civil servants faced with uncertainty, low salaries, insecurity of tenure and having
unbridled powers, are inclined to adopt corrupt practices. A survey of serving and retired
bureaucrats by Saba, Shafi and Saeed (1999) calls problems of corruption among
government servants as growing sense of helplessness in Pakistani society. Their study
seeks to identify and analyze the causes of corruption in the countrys bureaucracy. Their
survey found that bureaucratic corruption is fuelled by poor pay structure, the readily
available speed money, importance attached to cultural value of family ties and resultant
nepotism and overall lack of respect for rule of law. The civil servants remained under a
continual fear because each government on assuming power ventured to fire these civil
servants on pretext of eliminating corruption. Chaudhry (1999) gives a detailed account
as to how civil servants were fired ruthlessly by both military and civil governments in
the past. He quotes that 303 civil servants were fired by martial law regime of General
Yehya Khan. His account further explains how 1300 bureaucrats were retired
compulsorily and prematurely during Bhuttos government in a thoughtless manner. It
was such a thoughtless act that the list included some who had already retired and some
who were dead. The martial law regime of General Zia gave same free hand to his
deputies to identify at will the so called corrupt bureaucrats and fire them. This firing of
civil servants with fatal carelessness promoted uncertainty and a culture of opportunism.
This combination of uncertainty and opportunism in return promoted a culture of
corruption among the bureaucrats who were systematically forced to fight for their
survival and look for some sort of security for survival when legitimate means of survival
were being tapped.

126

The citizens prefer to live with the rampant corruption and do not raise their voices
against corrupt practices. They become part of corrupt culture and have no feeling of
guilt or shame about their role in corruption (Alan & McIvor, 2003). During the last
about two decades the political elites crossed all limits of law and morality when they
resorted to sell their conscious to the highest bidders in exchange for favors like lucrative
positions to associates and relatives, plots and permits, writing off of loans in exchange
for support to political leaders yearning for power. They quickly changed loyalties for
financial gains and powerful offices betraying their ideological associations with their
political parties who made them elected as members of national and provincial
assemblies. Weak and illegitimate governments were all willing to accept these deviant
political elites granting them all types of undeserved privileges and perks. The terms like
horse trading defection and floor crossing were invented and introduced into political
culture during the last two decades to highlight deviant behavior of these political elites.

In last election of 2002 and 2007 a number of politicians were found being disqualified
for presenting fake educational degrees to prove their eligibility for election. Only in
general elections of 2002 for provincial and national assemblies 68 political aspirants
were caught attempting to prove their eligibility for graduate qualification to contest the
elections (Sadiq, 2007). In some known cases some of the politicians succeeded to reach
national assemblies and their disqualification based on fake education degrees were
proved much later when they managed to complete their tenure as member of national
assembly after marathon judicial follow up by the opposing candidates. This deviant,
unethical and illegal way of life of this powerful segment of society was followed by
other relatively weaker segments of society and thus the glamour for grandeur and
concentration of wealth without any consideration of its legitimate means promoted a
culture of competition where wealth became the criteria for respect and social prestige.
With this came a culture of love for electronic gadgetries, spacious houses and brand new
and stylish vehicles or what came to be known as pajero culture.

This deviant manifestation by elite classes promoted a strong syndrome of getting rich
overnight across the society when thoughtless consumption spree by elite classes is

127

emulated by lower classes. Demonstration of wealth promotes social pressures among


lower classes of society like ostentatious show of wealth on social occasions like
marriages, birthday celebrations and other family matters. This in return fostered a
culture of need and greed for wealth. De-stigmatization of society and indifferent attitude
of individuals towards the problem provide a breeding ground for bribery and corruption.
The main catalysts for this de-stigmatization are collective passivity of civil society, high
tolerance levels, helplessness, and illiteracy, lack of credibility of political authority,
discredited accountability mechanism, intricate, ancient, non transparent bureaucratic
procedures and powerlessness of common man.

According to a survey by Transparency International on corruption in Pakistan,


respondents ranked police, power, taxation, judiciary, customs health, land, education,
telephone, railway and banks in the sequence given (Transparency International, 2007).
NABs National Anti Corruption Strategy report (2003) indicated that estimated revenue
lost due to corruption is 64%, 48% and 45% in income tax, customs and sales tax
respectively.

Four previous governments were dismissed by Presidents for charges of corruption and
inefficiency. It was in 1997 when after public outcry an accountability cell was set up to
punish corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. However credibility of this
accountability mechanism was vitiated when it was used to deal with political opponents
and coerce them to change loyalties in favor of ruling party by successive governments.
The Fourth government was dismissed by military dictator with a promise for
improvement and indiscriminate accountability. A law to be called as National
Accountability Bureau Ordinance 1999 (NAB Ordinance) was promulgated. A dedicated
institution NAB was set up. Initially a number of individuals were arrested and
prosecuted for their involvement in corruption and malpractices when they were in
influential positions. However, later on credibility of whole this accountability process
was diluted as it was generally perceived that it was incriminating government opponents
and was lenient with those supporting military rulers. As a result no change in attitudes
about corruption could be seen.

128

The military dictator was constrained to compromise with seasonal politicians who were
all out for their personal gains in return for granting legitimacy to illegitimate ruler.
Persecution of political dissidents and slow prosecution of politicians supporting the
military regime by NAB was so proverbial that it lost all its credibility as a prestigious
accountability institution. After recent general elections, when people of Pakistan rejected
supporters of military dictator, the Prime Minister in his address to National Assembly
announced abolition of NAB because of its vitiated credibility. Fifteen ministers out of 24
including the Prime Minister himself were persecuted and incarcerated by the NAB under
military rulers on false grounds because of dissident. The budget grants of NAB were
substantially curtailed to restrict its role instead of cleansing it and putting it on right
path.

Despite its questionable integrity and reputation National Accountability Bureau came
hard on some of corrupt individuals including politicians, bureaucrats, retired military
officers, businessmen and corporate leaders. During the last about seven years history of
accountability, NAB has recovered over Rs. 2.1 billions from the corrupt politicians,
bureaucrats, businessmen and industrialists

and other public servants (National

Accountability Bureau, 2007). It has preemptively proceeded against number of


individuals who attempted to defraud the public by advertising lucrative and cheap
housing schemes. But due to swift actions of NAB, public was notified in advance and
individuals involved were taken to task. The conviction rate of NAB remained highest at
57% as compared to other prosecution agencies.

Some of the case examples of corruption and bribery included in this research work have
been divided to include corruption of public officials and bureaucrats, politicians and the
corporate leaders. The case examples included are those that have special features with
respect to position of individuals involved, volume of amount misappropriated or number
of victims suffering as a consequence of criminal act of white-collar criminals and the
unique modus operandi adopted by these white-collar criminals.

129

CORRUPTION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS

The public officials are agents of the government responsible for implementing policy
and directives of the government that are in accordance with legislative decrees. It is the
responsibility of the public officials to implement law and policy in letter and spirit.
Where law is violated by government servants, or access of public to authorized facilities,
processes and benefits are restricted, the government officials doing so in fact act against
the intention of sovereign legislature. Where they try to do things in their own way in
utter disregard to law and norms of their obligations, they assume the role of the
legislature in an illegal manner. When public officials start crossing red lines, it is starting
point for their corruption. Corruption of public officials has many forms and faces some
of it includes misuse of position, breach of trust, nepotism, negligence, inaction,
influence selling, delays, circumventing legal procedures, exploitation and extortion.
Some case examples are described here to highlight corruption of public servants.

Illegal Allotment of Land

The case of Shahwani explains how misuse of position and trust is violated by senior
bureaucrats for personal gains. Mr Shahwani was the Chairman of countrys Capital
Development Authority (CDA) and was responsible to provide quality civic services to
reflect the international image of the city. Along with his official obligations, he ran a
parallel system to benefit his relatives and associates by awarding contracts through
illegal procedures, allotment of undeserved industrial, agriculture and commercial plots
and related petty benefits. During his 15 years tenure at CDA he worked at various
management positions as member planning and chairman land allotment committee. He
manipulated to allot to himself, his wife and close relative, a police officer; 3 industrial
plots declaring the allottees as industrialists. Subsequently he manipulated to exchange
one of the plot measuring 5000 square yards with a plot of larger size measuring 7333
square yards to his relative. One plot was allotted to his sister through a lady associate
who acted as front woman and finally this plot was transferred to his sister. Another plot
was allotted in similar manner to his mother-in-law. All these beneficiaries of

130

wrongdoings were booked as co-accused and ultimately were deprived of these illegal
benefits.

In another case he allotted an industrial plot to a petty contractor showing him as an


industrialist. Later a building was constructed on this plot which was sold to another coaccused for later transfer to Shahwani. Interestingly the plot with building was sold at
Rs.1.8 million whereas mere reserve price of the plot was Rs. 2.6 million. This was later
established to be a paper transaction and the perpetrators himself remained the ultimate
beneficiary using the technique of land flipping.

He was prosecuted by National Accountability Bureau and was incarcerated for four
years and disqualified for holding any public office for 10 years. As a consequence all his
illegally acquired property was confiscated.

This example provides reflections on the culture of bureaucratic power and means how
this power is manipulated and exploited to assume a personalized style of running affairs
of the state by state agents.

Misappropriation of Donors Money

One of the choicest ways of corruption by government officials is to misappropriate


funds coming from donors institutions for public sector development. The use of these
funds mostly fall outside the ambit of public exchequer and hence remain hidden from
the process of auditor generals review. The accountability and traceability for its use is
rather slow and sometimes without the interference and control of donors at micro levels.
This makes such development projects lucrative to embezzle for those responsible to
execute such projects. These include public sector officials and individuals overseeing the
projects run by NGOs that are funded by foreign donors.

It may be recalled that in 2007 earth quake that killed over 80,000 people and displaced
over 3.5 million individuals, the donors demanded transparent use of such funds with

131

traceable audit system. A number of international NGOs also showed similar concerns
and were careful in investing in rehabilitation activities while employing local individuals
to over see their rehabilitation operations. However, there were number of complaints
from donors as well as survivors that funds claimed to have been invested in their
rehabilitation were short supplied or even not provided at all as was being claimed by
donors and the government officials. In a similar case NAB arrested head of operation of
an NGO on the charges of embezzlement in funds provided by foreign donors for
rehabilitation of earth quack victims. He was responsible for using Rs.115 million for
camp management of basic education and employable skill training for the survivors. An
amount of Rs. 25 million was allocated for management of the project and remaining
amount of Rs.90 million was allocated for the earth quake affectees. The NABs
investigators found that ground checks proved that over Rs.27 million were embezzled in
execution of the foreign funded project. Arrest of his two subordinates unfolded all the
facts connected with this case (National Accountability Bureau, 2008b).

Ghazi Brotha Scandal

In another case of organized manipulation and misappropriation in execution of a World


Bank funded national development scheme called Ghazi Brotha Hydel Power project, a
group of influential bureaucrats, politicians, bank officials and land owners
misappropriated billions of rupees. The project covered an area spread in two provinces
of NWFP and Punjab. The financial effects of the project relating to land acquisition
were originally estimated at Rs.1.8 billions. This estimate finally shot up to Rs.7.5
billions through a series of corrupt practices organized by a gang of government officials
from various departments such as WAPDA, Revenue and Agriculture department in
connivance with local land owners and political aspirants.

The project involved construction of 52 kilometers long channel for generation of 1450
megawatts of power through another ancillary power project. The project was funded by
a consortium of financial agencies and was represented by World Bank at an estimated
cost of US $ 2.25 billion. The project included acquisition of 89000 kanals of land by

132

government of Pakistan that was initially estimated at Rs.1.8 billion. The location and
quality of land required for the project was mostly river bed, non productive and cheapest
as it required minimum displacement of population. The organized gang of government
officials joined hands with influential individuals of the area to support high cost of the
land and hence unrealistic compensation to land owners. As a result, the manipulations
escalated cost of the project to Rs.7.5 billion. This was criticized by the media and the
public. Realizing public outcry, the interest groups still maneuvered to suggest
containment of this price at Rs. 4.57 billion that later somehow was escalated to Rs.5.0
billion. The process of acquisition was completed in a hasty manner. While paying
compensation to land owners at an artificial rate, the facts of low category of land, non
existent facilities, infrastructure, built up properties and orchards was completely ignored.
Rather these were shown to be in existence to justify high cost. The process was wrought
with gross violations of legal formalities, negligence by land acquisition officers and
connivance of influential of the area. There were complaints that claimed amounts have
not reached the ultimate land owners and amounts have been misappropriated by
intermediaries such as influentials locals, land revenue officers and officials of
Agriculture department. Tired with the complaints and pressure from donors finally, the
Chairman of WAPDA requested National Accountability Bureau for a full fledged
inquiry into systematic and gross corruption of land acquisition collectors, their staff,
bank officials, officials from Agriculture department WAPDA and the influential
beneficiaries of the area.

The World Bank desired for a second feasibility study of affectees and their resettlement.
The resettlement plan by WAPDA formulated resettlement action plan which
recommended associating project affectees in matters relating to land compensation,
resettlement and environment friendly country development plan. However while
executing this plan; directives of World Bank to determine fair and equitable
compensation of land were violated. Investigation revealed that exorbitant and unethical
rates of compensation were paid for non existent orchards, built up areas and other
infrastructure.

133

The scope of investigation by NAB was very wide and in fact biggest case that this
agency was investigating. The scope of investigation spread over two provinces, covered
52 villages comprising 89,000 kanals of area. The NAB arrested 20 persons including 7
government officials and 13 beneficiaries land owners. Investigation into this mega
scandal is continuing and so far only four cases have been sent to accountability court for
trial.

The investigation by NAB and arrest of certain land owners and beneficiaries, created a
sense of fear among some other land owners who volunteered to return excess payment
received by them. However, it was discovered that they have not received the total
amount indicated against their names although they were paid through bank accounts.
Thanks to bane of illiteracy and ignorance. The part was fleeced by the intermediaries
negotiating between officials and the illiterate land owners. It is unlikely that whole of
the amount could be recovered. Trial of some officials is continuing. It is lack of effective
mechanism of internal control and accountability that is a peculiar feature of our system
of governance. This lack of control and want of deterrence enables the responsible public
officials to gain unbridled influence (power) to manipulate their way for flagrant abuse of
the power at their hands. This system of weak or bad governance also nurtures a typical
mindset of reckless use of discretion that knows no fears of accountability. Such use of
discretion widens with the scope of corruption by public officials. The system of
accountability and control weakens due to horizontal connivance within the sub-culture.
Such institutional weakness of lack of internal controls promotes glamorization for crime
and weak system of accountability breeds de-stigmatization for corruption especially
when money seems to be coming in an easy way.
Misuse of Power
Using ones influence for personal gains is a common practice of our society. This use of
influence usually includes misuse of power, coercing the subordinates, twisting the rules
and often manipulating law for own advantage. One such example is of Mr Khan who
was incarcerated for 10 years with fine of Rs. 45.45 millions by accountability court for
his misdeeds. He was member of Provincial Board of Revenue responsible for land
134

management in entire province. He accumulated properties and other assets beyond his
know sources of income by misusing his official position. At the time of his arrest he had
assets worth Rs.51.6 million including 4.8 million in a foreign currency account. He
coerced a local revenue official to declare a built up house as a vacant plot and then
undervalue its price as a residential accommodation, further getting it transferred to his
sister-in-law. During investigations, it was revealed that back in 1986; he purchased an
expensive house in Islamabad against the name of his unemployed and resource less
sister-in-law and later had a general power of attorney in favor of his wife. Then he
circumvented legal procedures and filed a suite against his wife and sister-in-law
claiming that he paid Rs.40 million to the two women and the house should be transferred
to him name. Both his wife and sister-in-law consented to the claim and thus he became
lawful owner of the house. Once consent degree was passed, he gifted it back to his wife.
His assets included three houses two residential plots, National Saving Certificates worth
Rs.13.7 million and a foreign currency account equivalent to Rs.4.8 million. His only
source of income was his meager salary that was just enough to make both ends meet. He
was living a luxurious life style without justifying his sources of income. Finally he
landed in jail for 10 years with a fine of Rs.45.45 million.

Misappropriation of Public Money

Misuse of ones position and making money through use of influence is one dimension of
corruption. Using ones positions to misappropriate available government funds for own
gains is another face of corruption among government officials. The case of Mr. Zaman
explains how funds allocated and government provided resources for operational
management of a government office are misappropriated through misuse of power and
discretion. He was jailed for 5 years with forfeiture of ill-gotten property worth Rs.10
million. He was Director Agriculture to oversee crop protection and development in the
field. He misused allotted budgets in connivance with his subordinates by way of
preparing fake purchase bills in name of ghost supplying firms and showing fake
purchases of other store items within his area of jurisdiction. He used novel methods to
defraud the government. He embezzled public funds by showing purchase of steel chairs

135

for field use, furniture items, office equipment, and kitchenware items at exorbitant prices
and that too from firms which were non existent. He made fake entries in stock ledgers
by showing on stock such items which were never procured. The height of his
misappropriation astonished the investigators when the investigators discovered that he
was using a government provided tractor to plough his own land and still charged the
government costs of daily fuel used. His personal assets investigated by NAB came to be
worked out at Rs.10.8 million. This included two houses, two residential plots, 233
kanals of agriculture land and saving certificates and other equities worth Rs.1.5 million.
He could not justify sources of his wealth and had to face jail and confiscation of illgotten properties.

This case is a reflection of a social trend of acquiring social assets like houses, properties
and wealth using influence and power derived through ones official position as public
official. Cultural goals of acquiring social assets inculcate a tendency of violating all
moral, legal and social codes. The offender thus runs after the glamorous goal of
gathering wealth without any consideration of legitimacy of means to acquire such
wealth. Association of family member in encouraging involvement in criminal activities
leading to acquisition of social assets makes such criminality a norm of society.

Nepotism and Manipulation

Here is another case example that explains how in a culture of nepotism and manipulation
little hard work pays the dividend in the form of money gained through illegal means and
use of personal influence by the public servant. This case is merely a reflection of sociocultural structure that enables individuals to gather wealth by all means in full view of
social de-stigmatization and with utter disregard to feelings of shame and dishonor. Raja
yaqoob started his career as an accounts clerk in Karachi Irrigation Supply Scheme and
later switched over as store keeper in Karachi Port Trust. He managed to move as an
assistant accountant in Small Dams Corporation and after serving here for a year or so
joined Income Tax department as a clerk. Here he rose to the senior post of Deputy
Commissioner of Income Tax. During his long tenure in taxation department he

136

manipulated his position and influence and managed to make assets worth Rs. 10.23
million that were found to be absolutely disproportionate to his legal sources of income.
He managed to facilitate his sons in acquiring octroi collection contracts through illegal
means. While his case was investigated by NAB he could not offer satisfactory reasons of
his huge assets. He however pleaded that one of his son who was studying in USA, has
sent him enough funds through his hard work which he used to acquire these properties.
However, his claims were found baseless as there were no banking transactions
supporting his claims neither he could bring his son to prove his claims. His illegal
properties acquired through illegal means included three large houses, one hotel and
agriculture land and one residential plot in Islamabad. He was sentenced to 3 years of
imprisonment and a fine of Rs.50.0 million for his life long involvement in corruption
and corrupt practices.

This case example is a sample that reflects how hard working people rising from lowest
level of employment to senior positions get integrated into culture of corruption and
corrupt practices. They use their intellectual potential to pursue their cultural goals and in
the process disregard high moral values, societal obligations and legal codes. This case
explains that although the socially approved channels of success were available to the
individual and he successfully rose to a senior position and had no reason to follow
socially un-approved ways of achieving his goals. This behavior thus reminds of
Maslows theory of hierarchy of basic needs that explains that human needs are innate or
instinctive. He arranged these needs in an ascending order of hierarchy or priority. These
needs are categorized as physiological needs, safety and security needs, belongingness
and love needs and finally self actualization needs. Applying this theory of basic needs to
this case study, it is evident that despite meeting his all needs other than need of self
actualization, the individual continued to pursue his goal of gathering more and more
money to meet this particular need. The given scenario explains criminality of the
individual with respect to motivation for criminal behavior despite having enough of
wealth and position to meet all needs.

137

Culture of Reciprocal Favours

Another way of survival and progress through corrupt way of life in service career for the
subordinate officials is to establish extra ordinary close relationships with superior
officers, influential politicians and senior bureaucrats. These relationships not only
survive well but also flourish in a culture of nepotism and reciprocal favors. In such cases
the subordinate officials must allow himself to be used as a tool by his benefactors. In
return he gains access to the sympathies and goodwill of these influential politicians and
senior bureaucrats and thus he himself derives influence and enables himself to benefit
himself and his benefactors through violative behavior, corruption and corrupt practice.

Such culture of reciprocity in our society is very common and is a catalyst for
glamorizing the deviant conduct. The most relevant example explaining this culture of
nepotism based corruption is of Mr Shaikh. He rose to the level of a Deputy Director in
Federal Investigation Agency within a span of 15 years. According to family background
his father was caretaker of farms and property of an ex-Director General of Federal
Investigation Agency. On his fathers request and in exchange for services to the senior
bureaucrat by the father, his son was recruited as low level official in FIA as sub
inspector. During a very short span he managed to transform his family fortune through
gathering illicit money using his own influence and patronage from the influentials he
was obliging. His father was a poor man not falling within the income group of tax
payers. After assuming duties in his department, he maintained a lavish life style for
himself and his family that was not commensurate with his known sources of income.

His income tax return showed an amount of Rs.106044.00 as his yearly income. During
investigation his yearly expenditures were shown to be around Rs. 4.2 million since 1994
and there was no justification available on record to prove source of such expenditures.
His assets included gold ornament valuing Rs.10 milllion, prize bonds worth Rs.0.5
million, share certificates of a sugar mills valuing Rs.0.145 million, a residential house
valuing Rs.5.0 million, a residential plot valuing Rs. 4.0 million, another residential plot
valuing Rs.1.0 million, commercial plots and agricultural land measuring Rs. 9.0 million

138

and an industrial unit having assessed value of Rs.15.0 million. He owned a private
college with an investment of Rs. 3.5 million, two bank account with balance of Rs. 4.7
million and another two bank account in name of his wife with a balance of Rs. 5.0
million. Thus his illegal wealth amounted to Rs. 58.345 million that he could not justify
during his trial. He was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs.10.0
million. The sentencing judge wrote in his decision that the accused was duty bound to
prevent acts of malpractices and corruption while serving in a law enforcement agency,
but he himself indulged in corruption and corrupt practices and as such he was entitled to
be dealt with severely in eyes of law.

These are few examples that are merely scratching of the surface of an iceberg of
corruption among the public officials who abuse their position and power to violate
social, moral and legal codes to benefit themselves and their families and associates. One
of the prominent trends arising from examination of these cases is that family members
and particularly wife act as accomplice of the offending public servant. This tendency is
reflection of a social fact that corruption has become so deep rooted that it is accepted as
norm in family institutions of the society and no stigma is attached to it by the family
members. It has become socially accepted and is regarded as tolerable and inevitable
social mores. Both offender and his family ignore the harm caused by corruption to social
and cultural fabric. They do not have feeling of guilt and shame when displaying their illgotten wealth through their luxurious way of life in a culture of social competition. This
social acceptance of corruption and blatant use of ill gotten money takes the white-collar
to the position of a social practice that brings with it adverse effects on society. Only a
process of social change can eradicate this socially disapproved but often tolerated social
practice of corruption.

Rose-Ackerman (1978) explains seven types of relationships that influence behavior of


government agents who are the public officials at different levels of hierarchy. The first
way is the bribery to influence the government behavior, second way explained is
following the legalistic procedures to achieve the objective without using other means to
influence the governmental procedures. Third way is friendship, family ties or personal

139

loyalty to channel governments agent behavior. Fourth way is the persuasion of


government officials. Fifth way explained is to work through the legal system and get the
government official coerced through seeking injunctions from the court. The sixth way is
to try and influence the outcome of the next election or sponsor referenda on important
issues. Finally the seventh way explained to influence the government officials is to use
threats to make officials do what is desired. In our social scenario people willingly opt to
pay bribes without recourse to other means explained. Following legalistic procedures
would hardly move the public official unless his own survival is threatened.

Due to greater importance attached to money, influence of family and friends to get
things moving does not always work especially when money received in bribery and
corruption are valued by the family members of a public official as explained earlier.
Working through legal process hardly pays because judicial process has failed to deliver
and people hardly believe it. A culture of depending upon informal venues of dealing
with disputes is fast developing. Relatively weaker segments and individuals in society
prefer to stay under the umbrella of a notable or influential of the locality to deal with any
troubles. This fractionalization of society has also multiplied possibilities of crime of
power because these notables and influential articulate the opportunities to exploit the
poor and weak to their own advantages. This system of social fractionalization is often
based on caste system, community solidarity or geographical belongingness.

Fair

opportunity in elections is hardly available to the public due to repeated invasion of


democracy by dictatorial rule and this environment of hopelessness and distrust promotes
violence in society. Powerful and influential people resort to threatening the public
officials to get their jobs done. However, it is a minority having ability and resources to
afford this way of action. Bribery is the most effective, convenient and preferred way of
getting through the process and influencing the government official for every deserved or
undeserved favor.

140

CORRUPTION OF POLITICS
The corruption of politicians benefiting themselves by using their position when having
control over power is a peculiar feature of Pakistani society. Elected Politicians find it
very convenient to change loyalties for personal gains and to stay in a strong political
position even at the cost of their ideologies. They are very prone to abandon their party
when not in power and join the ruling party against all norms of morality and public
opinion. Repeated intervention by military generals and prolonged capture of political
power by the dictators in the country promoted a culture of political opportunism. These
military rulers in power were constrained to grant all sorts of legal and illegal benefits
and undeserved share in power to these seasonal politicians to earn their legitimacy to
stay in power. These politicians well aware of the rare opportunity and uncertainty in
politics tend to avail benefit from such situation to consolidate their hold on power. The
military dictators have been using states coercive mechanism to mitigate dissent among
the politicians. It is very rare that politicians stand against such coercive measures. Rather
they find it better to give up and join hands to legalize illegitimacy of the military
dictators in exchange for undeserved favours. This ongoing symbiotic relationship
between the military dictators and the politicians is continuously breeding a culture of
nepotism and corruption.

It is not enough to blame only the military dictators for deviant behavior of politicians.
During the intermediate periods of democratic governments in the country, the political
segment of the society failed to promote a culture of tolerance, fairness and merit. Last
two decades of early 80s and 90s saw a worst turmoil of political rivalries where elected
politicians sold their loyalties in exchange for influential positions, plots, undeserved
loans, quota to appoint their nominees on government jobs, write-off of loans and
securing government contracts for their associates. This period of so called democratic
rule introduced new terms in political jargon where such sale of political loyalties were
called as horse trading, floor crossing and conscious selling. The political leaders
buying these loyalties to secure political strength to stay in power remained immune to
consider the damage they were causing to the society.

141

The deviant behavior of this powerful segment of society was imitated by weaker
segments and the general public at large. This imitation of deviant behavior by weaker
segments justified corruption as an accepted way of life and thus deviation from law,
manipulation, exploitation and lust for illegal wealth and power was tolerated as accepted
norm of society. During the military rule the people professing themselves to be
politicians often rose to powerful positions without having connections to the masses and
without any natural interest to serve the greater majority of people. Because of their own
weaknesses the rootless dictators tend to rely upon people brought from abroad to
perform according to their directions. This state of social exclusion of society from affairs
of governance promoted a feeling of insecurity and hence people went out at their own to
secure their cultural goals in their own way.

The collective mindset failed to resist corruption and as a result there is little resistance
against it individually or collective. Some of the most observed and observable social
indicators are that a tuck driver very conveniently violates a traffic signal and when
chased by police, with equal convenience he pays readily available money and goes
away. People feel it of no shame and dishonor to steel electricity from power lines by
directly connecting wires to the electricity poles. It is an easy way to pay bribe to bank
clerk to pay utility bills instead of waiting in queue. It is no problem to encroach upon a
public utility footpath or amenity plot to run a small business as long as one keeps paying
to the police and the municipal official. One has to pay bribes to get fitness certificate of
his vehicle or get it registered. It is found easy to pay to a court official to get copy of a
legal document or delay hearing of a suit. The list goes on.

As far as corruption of politicians is concerned, the recent years have seen a series of
events where politicians were found involved in corruption and corrupt practices, visibly
or otherwise. A number of scandals were unveiled by popular media in which politicians
particularly from ruling party under the military dictator were reported involved. These
politicians are themselves owners or share holders in major industries like sugar and
cement and using their position of power they manipulated and exploited the economic

142

situation to draw unfair advantages. Some of the scandals have been discussed separately
in this thesis. These include sugar scandal, cement scandal, flour and wheat hoarding
scandal, stock exchange collapse scandal and notorious attempt of privatization of
countrys only steal mills that was finally blocked by an order of the Supreme Court.

Historically, this situation is often justified on the grounds that the society is still passing
through a period of transition to development. This standpoint is hardly relevant because
it is not necessary that every such transition should have similar historical background.
However, continual breaks in democratic process may be blamed for this chaotic state of
affairs. The continued process of democracy has an inherent ability to make it too
difficult for the aspirant political elites to involve themselves in corruption. The most
relevant case in point is of British democracy that at one point was seriously plagued by
corruption. Not only were the voters paid for, but constituencies had been known to be
sold to highest bidder (Ronald & Edger, 1953). It however, became too expansive to buy
the electorate (Gwyn, 1962). Such transformation of public attitudes is necessarily a
phenomenon of social change requiring long span of time to come into a significant shape
and outlook that can be realized. The continuity of democratic process ensures perpetual
and effective role of such social change taking place. However the democratic process
itself must be such in which individuals participate without any encumbrances attached to
their choice to vote and where political aspirants dare not to buy their voters. The voters
must have an intelligent choice and must stay conscious of their obligations and rights. It
is popular media and continuity of democratic process that can ensure such cleansing of
the political field from corruption. Perhaps similar pattern of public response was
manifested by the electorate when in recent general elections people voted out the
prominent candidates from the ruling party because of the complaints of corruption,
nepotism, hoarding of essential commodities like sugar, wheat and cement and other
scandals while they were in power.
Misuse of Discretionary Funds
Misuse of discretionary funds by politicians when they are in power is a common way of
corruption among the politicians. The fact that these funds are meant for secret and other
143

discretionary purposes not normally subject to any audit, makes it simple for the
politicians to benefit themselves and benefit their associates in one way or the other. The
case of Provincial Chief Ministers is often indicated in literatures and media who have
huge funds at their discretion when they are in power. A Provincial Chief Minister of
Baluchistan had to face corruption charges when an inquiry was initiated by NAB against
him blaming him for corruption and corrupt practices for accumulation of money. He was
charged with misappropriation of Rs.166.36 million. This amount included Rs.132.821
million provided for secret service and discretionary funds. During his arrest he
submitted an application for plea bargain and agreed to pay Rs.50 million. Finally he
paid Rs. 50 million for his release but still a stigma of conviction was attached to him as
per current law.

A similar case of misappropriating discretionary funds by a Chief Minister of the


province of Punjab is often referred whenever corruption of politicians is mentioned.
During the time of uncertainty of political stability about his government the High Court
was to decide about legality of dismissal of the government of his predecessor. When the
High Court was to give verdict the next day, the Chief Minister was apprehensive about
his political survival. He immediately directed his staff to issue checques to his nominee
overnight. The staff was asked to stay back overnight. All the available amount of
Rs.13.6 million was shown utilized. As expected, when the government of his
predecessor was restored by the High Court the next day, it was too late when the
incumbent Chief Minister was told by his staff that all the available funds had been
utilized by the outgoing Chief Minister overnight ( Hussain, 1999b).

It is that inherent secretive characteristics of white-collar crime that keeps it away from
view of those who can blow the whistle. It is limitation of law that keeps such offenders
away from its jaws. Their influence derived out of their position in politics is another
factor contributing to their unreachable criminality.

This texture of politics was recently visible when industrialist and sugar mills owners in
the garb of politicians and some of them sitting in cabinet; were blamed for sudden sky

144

rocketing of sugar, cement and wheat prices. The investigations by NAB were suddenly
stopped and a report prepared by NAB was marked as secret unless a sue moto notice was
taken by the Supreme Court and this report was produced in Court.

Illegal Accumulation of Assets

Accumulation of assets through misuse of power is another way of corruption among the
politician. It is power that enables this category of offenders to commit white-collar crime
for self benefits. Way out to easy money through the corridors of power has been a
peculiar feature of Pakistani politics. The case of a Provincial Minister is one such
example that signifies this assertion. Mr Tanoli was arrested for his involvement in
accumulation of assets and properties beyond his known sources of income. He started a
small business as grocery shop vendor in his hometown. He owned no significant
property. He entered in politics about 15 years ago and learned tricks of the politics and
was elected twice from his home constituency. After his rise to power, he started
purchasing commercial and residential lands in various posh areas of different cities in
his own name and in name of his associates. He constructed commercial and residential
buildings on these acquired lands having control of a wealth of Rs.74 millions including
cash in his bank accounts. He did not bothered to obtain no objection certificate from
local municipal office and did not pay any property taxes. This is how lack of respect for
rule of law gains roots when power is acquired. When his trial began he could not show
source of money for his illegal property. He was incarcerated for 7 years and a fine of Rs.
50 million was also imposed with confiscation of properties.

Connivance and Influence

In a similar but a typical case of accumulation of assets in the form of properties beyond
known sources of income, Faqir, a member of provincial assembly was incarcerated for 7
years with heavy fines. As public office holder he misused his position to gain pecuniary
benefits through fraudulent means. He targeted government functionaries of land
acquisition department and cultivated his personal friendship at levels that mattered

145

including secretary in charge of the ministry and the Provincial Minister. He somehow
got reputation of not attending legislative business that was basic obligation of his
electoral mandate. Instead he associated himself with shady deals with land mafia in
public and private sector. In connivance with some officials of land acquisition
department, he somehow managed to get a fraudulent summary approved for allotment of
state land to his ownership at subsidized rates incommensurate with market prices. This
was done in violation of rules and procedures with tacit approval of minister in-charge.
He got this property transferred to his name and against name of his family members. The
estimated market price of his properties was Rs.16.54 million at the time of his arrest. He
was tried for his misdeeds and he could not justify his huge wealth within a short span of
time. He was jailed for 7 years with a fine of Rs. 20 million with confiscation of
government property acquired by him illegally.

Democracy provides an opportunity to the public to elect their representatives to solve


their problems to bring happiness in collective life of society. However, when elected,
these representatives breach trust of their electorate and associate themselves with
multiplying their wealth through manipulation, misuse of position and using their
influence derived through their political positions.

In similar circumstances, Abbasi, a public representative had to face process of law for
accumulating huge properties within a short span of 10 years. He started his political
career as chairman of district council. He quickly rose to the position of a member of
National Assembly and later as Senator. He accumulated various assets valuing over
Rs.40 million and a 300 kanals of land. Demarcated forest land transferred from
provincial forest department through manipulation of district revenue records. He
enchroached another 5 kanals of adjacent land in lust for wealth and constructed shops on
it. The investigators also discovered his shares in a flour mills. For 24 previous years he
declared a nominal yearly income through which acquiring huge properties was never
possible. The total investment of the offender in various business ventures was
discovered to be Rs.20.17 million. The court found him guilty of accumulating wealth

146

and assets disproportionate to his know sources of income. He also could not justify his
ill gotten wealth. He had to face 5 years behind bars and a fine of Rs. 21.52 million.

Illegal Gratification and Mis-use of Power

Public representatives are supposed to be the custodian of the state resources as and when
they rise to powerful positions. They have an obligation towards the public to honor
confidence and trust reposed in them by the public. However, in present period of
transition to true democratic set up examples of public representatives associating
themselves with malpractices to accumulate wealth are in abundance. The case of Sher
Ali is one such example. He was initially elected as mayor of a municipal corporation of
a big district. Later he rose to the level of member of National Assembly. The NAB
investigators discovered that he belonged to low income group family and held office of
the mayor for 7 years. He was twice elected as member of national assembly (MNA) after
serving as mayor. This implies he acquired enough power, wealth and resources as mayor
to rise to higher positions. Before entering into politics he lived in a small house owned
by his father and shared by six family members. He was a share holder in small sizing
factory that was the only source of his income. He soon established his own enterprise in
the form of a weaving factory. The investigators discovered that he started accumulating
wealth as mayor of the Municipal Corporation by systematically receiving illegal
gratification in connivance with officials and contractors of the corporation. He disposed
off state land meant for a public cafeteria. NAB discovered that he made a fortune of
Rs.20 million by disposing off this land. He illegally allotted wagon stand to his
associates and relatives. He was found responsible for extracting illegal gratification from
subordinate officials working in the corporations food and sanitary departments. He was
also found guilty of extracted bribery from octori posts of the city entry points. His total
declared income during the last 11 years prior his arrest was Rs.1.38 million. However,
he was found owning assets amounting to Rs.543.98 million. He was convicted for 5
years of imprisonment and fine of Rs.100 million with confiscation of illegal property.

147

These of few case examples of corruption by politicians. The subject matter leads us to
conclude that these politicians having lust for money, choose the route of politics an easy
way to acquire their goals. They manipulate their way and exploit the system by using
their influence. Only unfortunate are caught. There are glaring examples of many cases
where individual politicians are surviving despite visible wealth they acquired by using
illegal means. Whenever they rise to power, they have their beneficiaries ready to
facilitate manipulation to make quick money through a systematic and symbiotic
relationship. These beneficiaries are middlemen, conniving subordinate officials,
financiers wishing to abide by laws but still constrained to depend upon these politicians
and the close associates and buddies. It is decades of social life of indifference to illegal
practices and immorality that readily convinces every one concerned to adapt to this
corruption prone scenario instead of following a lawful course. This social scene
resembles with that of nineteenth century America as highlighted by Reiger (1957).

In the latter part of the century colossal fortunes were falling into the hands of
the fortunates, and those who could not wait for them to fall were reaching up and
grabbing them. Old laws failed to serve new purposes, and most legislatures
lacked the intelligence, even if they possessed the will, to regulate the dizzy
processes of industrial expansion. Even the financier who wishes to be lawabiding realized that legal paths were too indirect to serve his purpose, and it was
easier to dole out bribes to politicians who were far from loath to share in orgy of
acquisition. The control of mineral lands, water power, or municipal franchises
might mean the accumulation of gigantic fortunes in short time, and it was no
wonder that sharp-eyed businessman, eager for wealth and power, ingeniously
evaded or flagrantly defied the inadequate and feelbly enforced laws of land
(Reiger, 1957).
This picture of corruption prone society of 19th century America painted by Reiger (1957)
evidently signifies features of a society in transit where moral and legal normative
structure is yet to stand on its foundation. However, it is interesting to note that this
similar historical social background particularly relating to corruption is identical
although social value systems are completely different. This is so because there is little
difference in human behavior where there is lax compliance to legal and moral codes and
individuals have un-encumbered opportunities to adopt deviant behavior.

148

In all the cases discussed above one feature is most relevant that all these politicians
were prosecuted when they were not in power and they were with the opposition camps.
A number of prominent politicians continued enjoying fruits of power despite the fact
that they were having cases being prosecuted by NAB. However, the process of
prosecution and investigation was so slow that these politicians were tamed to continue
their support to the military dictator to preserve status quo that lent support to military
ruler.

This deviant behavior of politicians is a manifestation of power imbued causative factors


of criminality. The empirical evidence suggests that the individuals were adhering to the
normative structure of society when they were living a normal life as citizens earning
their bread and butter and other amenities of life through socially approved means. On
entering politics, they acquired position of power that enabled them to influence things to
their own advantages. This ability to influence things (power) lead them to a power
imbued deviant behavior and they thus resorted to adopt a criminal way of life to
accumulate wealth. While in powerful position they ignored to consider possibility of any
accountability and prosecution or any fear of being caught. Simultaneously they ignored
to have any feeling of shame and guilt. In other words power imbued glamour for white
collar crime so influenced their behavior that they de-stigmatized their criminality. This
power dynamics of criminal behavior is main thesis of this humble work. This power
dynamics is seen in every type of deviant behavior and particularly among the whitecollar criminals; be it professional, occupational, political or corporate field of activity.
CYBER CRIMES
With the technological advances and globalization, the form, shape and techniques of
white-collar crime have also transformed and developed into very complex amalgamation
of criminal acts requiring involvement of highly skilled, trained and intelligent brains.
Cyber crime is also one of the off shoots of these technological advances. Although a
consensus universal definition of cyber crimes is yet to be developed, conceptually the
cyber crime refers to criminal activity involving use of the information technology
infrastructure. The perpetrator is able to intrude into privileged and protected data and

149

information; he can block access of the legally entitled persons to the information they
are entitled to; he can steal identity of others for financial gains, overtake control of
computer system of others and incapacitate them from using their state of the art
information reservoir threatening them of causing losses to the tune of millions of dollars.
The perpetrators do not need any sort of high tech weaponry to commit cyber crime.
They only need to be skilled, experienced and have motivation for criminal opportunity.

In a study by Parker (1976) in 1970, system hackers were profiled as highly motivated,
bright people with technical knowledge who often worked in university or business
computer centers. They have sometimes been referred to as techno-criminals in the
literature. This literature on cyber crimes repeatedly draws attention of stake holders to
pay attention to growing threat of cyber crime as the use of computer is becoming an
integral part of economic life of societies around the world. Because of the availability of
internet in more than 200 countries and because of its borderless nature; such crime
may be committed through communications that are routed through a number of different
countries (Presidents Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on Internet, 2000). Bush
(2003) underlined that the high availability of internet-based low cost cyber-weapons that
can target civilian information assets is a growing threat to the economic stability of
modern societies that depend on todays information infrastructure. Although the threat
of cyber crime has more concerns in developed societies where greater dependence is
placed on computers, these concerns are also growing in developing societies where
everyday life is becoming more dependent upon computers.

The advances in technology have become a societal issue now because of its criminal byproducts that have emerged in the form of cyber crimes. These crimes affect individual
and collective life of the society on the whole. This changed face of white-collar crime
has covert characteristics having more serious and devastating implications than many
violent and non violent crimes. Cyber crime is generally defined as criminal activity in
which the computer or network is an essential part of the crime, either as a tool of crime
or as a victim. This term is also used to include traditional crimes in which computers or

150

networks are used to enable illicit activity (Wikipedia, 2008). It is also referred to as
computer crimes, high-tech crimes or internet crimes.

There are many types and varieties of cyber crimes and due to significance of the
economic and social threat involved, a new subject of cyber criminology has emerged to
deal with and explain such type of criminal activity from academic and operational point
of view. The most common types of cyber crimes in our society include spamming or
abuse of electronic messaging system by sending unwanted and unsolicited bulk
messages, copy right crimes that are abundantly committed in our society as pirated soft
wares are available even from street hawkers. The others include defeating access
controls or penetrating into information management system of companies and
organizations and taking over controls over the net work, malicious codes or introducing
a variety of hostile, intrusive or annoying soft wares, denial of service or incapacitating
the information management system for the benefit of legitimate users, identity theft,
hacking, theft of data, espionage and the list goes on.

Over the past 20 years wide range of cyber weapons have become available. An attacker
can build an E-bomb designed to fry computer electronics with electromagnetic energy
for as little as $400 (Wilson, 2001). One of the unique features of cyber crime is that it
can be committed by the offender sitting thousands of miles away from the victim. The
offender may even be out of the legal jurisdiction of the governments and still enjoying
benefits obtained through criminal means. One of the recent researches showed that new
cyber crime is being registered every 10 second in Britain. During 2006, the computer
crooks were able to strike 2.4 million times. Some crimes performed on-line even
surpassed their equivalence in real world. Experts believe that over 90 per cent of cyber
crimes stay unreported (Wikipedia, 2008).

Legislative Developments on Cyber Crimes

One of the growing challenges faced by the governments around the world is that their
traditional laws were running short in dealing with modern trends in crimes that involve

151

modern technologies. This applies both to traditional crimes committed through modern
means and modern crimes committed through modern technology. With growing use of
computers due to convenience and speed, concerns about the cyber crimes around the
world also increased. The governments were constrained to rethink and devise legal
mechanism to regulate, secure and protect the information infrastructure from abuse in
computer age. The need was particularly felt because of deepening economic dependency
on computers around the world (Meall, 1989). It is more relevant to developed societies
where computers are used for power delivery, communications, aviation, financial
services, and inventory management and even for controlling animal breeding and
feeding. As the computer facilitates departure from traditional practice of using paper for
documentations, need to regulate paperless transactions was felt around the world. With
this development, protective measures and policing of the culprits was also felt. Practical
approaches to address these concerns started in USA in 1991s when government
deliberated on protecting the computer based data (National Research Council, 1991 p.7).
In 1999, the banking and financial sectors launched the first information sharing and
analysis center. By 2003, more than a dozen of such centers had been established
(Department of Homeland Security, 2003). Canada was one of the first countries to enact
criminal laws in the area of cyber crime (Convention on Cyber-Crime, 2001).

The first comprehensive international effort to deal with computer crime problems was
initiated by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development during 1970s
(Canadian Center for Justice Statistics, 2002). The convention on cyber crime is the first
international treaty that comprehensively and particularly deals with copyright violations,
computer related frauds, violation of net work security and child pornography.

Electronic Transactions Ordinance-2002

In Pakistan three laws pertaining to computer related business activities and cyber crimes
have been promulgated within a short span of past five years. These laws were
necessitated due to growing culture of computer usage in everyday life. Need of a law to
regulate financial transaction was felt when big business houses, cash intensive

152

enterprises like grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and large tax payers started use of
computer generated invoices and delivery notes. Correspondingly federal tax manager,
the Federal Board of Revenue also switched over to computer based automation of tax
management systems. This warranted legal recognition of electronically generated
documents that mostly had no signatures but still were legal documents acceptable by tax
managers. With this background the government promulgated first ever law pertaining to
digital or cyber transactions. This law was called The Electronic Transactions
Ordinance-2002. This law provided a comprehensive legitimacy to electronic
documents, digital signatures, agreements and archives that are retained in electronic
form. Through this law a legal framework for security and safety and sanctity of
electronic documents has been provided. The law enables government authorities and
departments to accept electronic applications and in turn permits public institutions and
departments to issue electronic tickets, licenses and permits. The law provides a
regulatory framework for service providers and third party interests. One of the most
prominent features of this law is that it provides for legal recognition to electronic
documents as judicially valid evidence amending the law of evidence to recognize
electronic transactions.

This law to a limited extent provides for punitive action for certain type of cyber crimes.
However, this is silent on many types of cyber crimes such as spamming and copy right
violations. Section 35 of this law provides for penalty for issuing false certificate by any
person. Section 36 provides for violation of privacy of information and provides for a
maximum penalty of seven year in jail or fine extending up to one million rupees. Section
37 provides for same punitive provision for damage to information system by way of
altering, modifying, deleting, removing and unauthorized storage of information.

This law though deficient in many respects, provided for a starting point towards policing
and control of cyber crimes in Pakistan. Since its promulgation all the cases of cyber
crime were prosecuted under these three provisions of law and in some cases offenders
were punished and some of the cases are still in courts.

153

Payment Systems and Electronic Fund Transfer Act-2007

With growing culture of electronic funds transfers, a recent law to be known as Payment
Systems and Electronic Funds Transfer Act, 2007 has also been promulgated. This law
basically provides a regulatory mechanism for the operations of credit cards, automated
teller machines, electronic cheques business, clearing houses, electronic debit instruments
rights and obligations of electronic facility operators and consumers and other related
issues. The law empowers the State Bank of Pakistan to act as key regulator of the entire
system of electronic payments and funds transfers in the country. Substantial powers
have been delegated to the regulators to issue guide lines and by-laws for the operation of
electronic payments and funds transfers. Broad guidelines and terms and conditions of
electronic fund transfer have been provided in this law. The law provides for
comprehensive instructions for matters brought before a court and their speedy disposal.

The law also provides for punitive measures for violations affecting electronic commerce,
cheating through electronic devices and penalties against the financial institutions and
operators of electronic fund transfer facility. Finally, this law also applies to matters
occurring outside Pakistan as long as they are directly or indirectly connected to, or have
an effect or bearing in relation to persons, payment systems or events within the
territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan.

The scope of this law is limited only to give legal and regulatory cover to a limited area
of cyber activity pertaining to funds transfer through electronic means. The law does not
encompass other aspects of cyber crimes such as data theft, software piracy, crime
committed through internet etc.

Prevention of Electronics Crimes Ordinance-2007

This law is the most comprehensive and latest addition to enactments on cyber crimes. It
provides for legal definitions of terms connected with cyber crimes and information

154

technology. Some of these terms include data, electronic, electronic device, plain and
scrambled data and other related terms. It also provides legal definition cyber crimes like
criminal access to data, data damage, electronic fraud, electronic forgery, unauthorized
access codes, malicious codes, cyber stalking, and spamming and cyber terrorism. It
provides for penalties for various crimes that range from 3 years to 10 years
imprisonment with financial penalty ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.1 million. The law
provides for a special tribunal for trial of cyber criminals and lays down qualification and
terms of service of member of the tribunal. The law also lays down powers and scope of
investigating officers and provides for a special agency to investigate the cyber offences.
The law provides for a regulatory mechanism for service providers dealing in electronic
information business. It also provides for international co-operation between the law
enforcement agencies. One of the unique provisions of this law is that it extends its
jurisdiction irrespective of nationality or citizenship of the offender inside or outside of
the country.

This law is very comprehensive that has brought the country at par with other nations
adopting legislative measures to curb cyber crimes in their respective jurisdictions. Most
of the provisions of this law are unlikely to be implemented unless proper regulatory
infrastructure is set up to enforce this law.

Prosecution of Cyber Criminals

With the growing use of technology in financial sector, private and public organizations,
some complaints of cyber crimes are integral part of using cyber technology. The
promulgation of Electronic Transactions Ordinanace-2002, by the government
necessitated a law enforcement mechanism. A National Response Center for Cyber
Crimes (NR3C) was thus set up at Headquarters of Federal Investigation Agency to deal
with cyber crimes. During the last about 6 years this center has investigated and
prosecuted 8 cases of 1crimes related to misuse of computer. Commenting on this

Data presented in this section was obtained from National Response Center for Cyber Crimes (NR3C)
FIA Headquarters Islamabad.

155

apparently limited number of cyber crimes, an official of FIA stated that it should not
imply that cyber crimes are not committed so frequently. The fact is that these crimes are
hardly reported by the victims for various reasons (Ayaz, personal communication,
January 12, 2008). This assertion is correct to an extent and there are many reasons for
this. The victims are yet not aware of their rights whenever they use computers, they are
not aware of laws and procedure of complaint. Weak trust in outcome of investigation is
anther factor. They passively ignore their experience with cyber crime and tend to live
with it. Experts believe that 90% of cyber crimes stay unreported (Wikipedia, 2008).
Incapacity, resoucelessness, inadequate training and complacency of law enforcers are
some of the other reasons.

Western Union Fraud: Breaking Access Controls

The first ever crime prosecuted in history of Pakistan pertained to fraud and deception
through unauthorized intrusion into Western Unions information system. A group of 14
male and female offenders formed a gang to defraud and defeat the access control
mechanism of Westerns Union. They managed to withdraw money from various outlets
of Western Union by presenting fake identities with original passwords before the
genuine recipients could reach the counters of Western Union outlets. The genuine
recipients were told to their surprise and shock that they have already been paid the
amounts. When the genuine recipients agitated and complained of their deprivation of
money, the Western Union officials suspected an unauthorized intrusion into their
information management system. The matter was reported to cyber crime wing of FIA.
An immediate investigation was launched. Access logs of Western Union servers in USA
were analyzed and it was established that unauthorized access to the servers was made by
an individual who somehow managed to obtain Western Unions client software with
valid usernames and passwords. He passively monitored the inward transfers of money
and obtained national identity card numbers of the genuine recipients to make fake
identity cards. Any suitable person from their gang then approached the concerned outlets
of Western Union with original password. The amounts were paid promptly by the
counter clerks. This way they managed to defraud for millions of rupees and thus were

156

finally tracked and arrested. They were prosecuted under punitive provisions of
Electronic Transaction Law-2002. The trial is still in progress.

Credit Card Fraud

This is one of the biggest cases of credit card fraud in short history of cyber crimes in the
country. An international gang of credit card fraudsters was busted by cyber crime wing
and news of this scam was repeated flashed in the media. A skilled information
technology expert young man managed to break access controls in credit card system of
Visa, Master and American Express International. He retrieved data pertaining to credit
card holders and after deleting their names uploaded the data on magnetic strips of white
plastic credit cards and changed the credit cards at PDS machines. This way heavy
financial loss was caused to credit card holders worldwide and to the banks sponsoring
these cards. The accused was arrested after several weeks of surveillance. The police
recovered a number of machines used in the illegal activity along with used and unused
credit cards. A number of files containing data retrieved from different American banks
were also seized. A big collection of software like Visa card durability test, smart card
reader, easy credit card checker and several internet cookies was also recovered. The
offender confessed that he was a member of an international gang. He was booked under
cyber crime laws and several other criminal charges were framed against him. He is yet
to be punished by the session court.

National Bank ATM Fraud

One of the most recent cases of large scale cyber crime hit the mews paper headlines
when countrys top bank providing One-link automated-teller machines service to 14
other banks suddenly suspended their services. The closure was necessitated with the
disclosure that a cyber gang had withdrawn millions of rupees from different branches of
the bank through automated teller machines in different cities by cracking the PIN codes
and hard-ware security modules. The criminal gang has been misusing some of the
accounts with zero-balance of two of the employees of another bank. Forensic

157

investigation revealed that the criminal gang had complete command over whole ATM
system of the bank. The crime was committed with the connivance of employees of the
banks availing this one-link service.

One of the employees who was in-charge of security hardware at the banks online
money supply service, disappeared along with loads of information about private
accounts and ATM PIN codes. One employee of another bank was arrested for his
involvement in this fraud and another believed to be gang leader was on the run. Initially
the bank management detected cyber theft of about Rs. 3 millions in two cities in two
weeks. The theft was committed from ATMs located in industrial areas of these cities
where these machines were fully loaded. Same pattern of criminal activity was observed
over the weekend in three more cities robbing the bank of Rs. 8.0 million. Investigation
and reconciliation of accounts revealed that over Rs.20 millions have been looted in few
weeks (NBP admits, 2008). It is designed feature of the ATMs that an account holder
can withdraw a maximum of Rs.20000 in a day. However, the hackers were so deeply
penetrated that they could draw any amount (NBP suspends 2008). The banks
management was initially reluctant to make the matters public just to retain investors and
account holders confidence. However, scale and size of the fraud was such that it was
beyond their capacity to conceal as cyber crime wing of FIA had to be associated. The
ATMs were not covered with security cameras to record photo identities of the drawer.
This weakness of the system was obviously an opportunity for the perpetrators to
rationalize their criminal conduct in view of lapses in operational setting of this system.
Some the culprits were arrested red handed over the weekends after days of surveillance.

Obnoxious Emails

In this interesting case, employees of a company including both males and females
started receiving obnoxious emails from other employees within the company. This
created unpleasant feelings, anger and distrust amongst the employees and everyone
denied of sending email to others. The management of the company suspected
unauthorized access to official email accounts of the company. The company lodged a

158

complaint to the cyber crime wing. Forensic analysis of the server detected unauthorized
access to email accounts of several employees. Track back processes lead the cyber
investigators to an individual in Sector I-8 who happened to be an ex-employee of the
company. He was aware of the fact that email password of almost every account of the
company was same as its user name. He exploited this weak access controls and sent
obnoxious emails from one employee to others. He was arrested and prosecuted and was
awarded 20 days in prison with a fine of Rs.15000/-. He admitted that he committed the
offence just for fun sake.

In another case three employees of a big news group received threatening emails stating
that they will be killed, news groups offices will be blasted. The cyber investigators at
cyber crime wing analyzed the email messages and tracked the culprits. They were
arrested and booked under criminal law. The proceedings of the case are still continuing.

Data and Intellectual Property Theft

A company located at Lahore was engaged in business of providing web based services
to medical professionals for record keeping, patients portal, practice record keeping and
related healthcare services. The management noticed sudden disappearance of three of
their employees. This prompted the management of the company to look for any possible
theft of data and intellectual property belonging to the company. Initial investigation
revealed strong suspicion of theft of data pertaining to clients and patients and specially
designed software for activity management. The management lodged a complaint with
the cyber crime wing. Forensic analysis of companys computers under use of the
disappeared employees, disclosed unauthorized storage, transmission and deletion of
companys data from the computers. In the meantime it was discovered that all the three
employees including one woman had established another company with same business
functions and were approaching the clients of their ex-employer for providing services at
less charges. A raid by cyber crime wing caused seizure of all computers under use in this
newly established company. Subsequent forensic analysis revealed that software and data
including details of clients were stored in computers and was being used by the company

159

headed by deserting employees of the victim company. The involvement of the


employees in theft of data and intellectual property was further established when
sufficient data consisting of emails messages, chat records and deleted files was
recovered from the computers. The offenders were booked under the law and the case is
still under prosecution.

In another similar case of intellectual property and data theft, a leading software
development company NetSol marketed software for leasing industry and developed a
big customer base. Two of their employees left the company after a long association of
15 years. Later, they silently established their own company naming it as FinSoft. They
started marketing software with new brand name that was somewhat similar to software
marketed by NetSol. The victim company complained to cyber crime wing. A team of
investigators raided the office of new company and collected specimen of stolen software
for comparison. A forensic evaluation of computers seized from FinSoft revealed that
they were marketing software stolen from their parent company. Data consisting of
supporting document and files were also recovered from their computers. The offenders
were arrested. Later both of them apologized from their previous employer and signed a
non disclosure agreement for two years to get rid of the trouble.

Hacking and Black Mailing

There are at least two cases that were reported to cyber crime wing of FIA in which
offenders were found hacking email accounts of subscribers and then blackmailing and
demanding ransom to release the email accounts. Both these cases were reported in media
as a unique way of blackmailing through modern technique of computer technology. In
first of these two cases, a private business company was the victim and in second case an
individual was the victim. The management of a Islamabad based NGO working for civil
liberties and democratic order complained to cyber crime wing that one of their email
accounts was hacked and the hacker was asking for substantial amount of money to
release the account. The cyber investigators tracked back the email received from the
hacker and finally traced his location in a house in sector F-8 of Islamabad. He was

160

arrested and his computer was seized for forensic analysis. The analysis revealed his
involvement in hacking activities and he was found as habitual to hack email accounts of
different individuals. He was prosecuted under the law and a sentencing decision on his
criminal activities is awaited.

In another case of denial of access to email, an individual named Salah complained that
one of his email accounts was hacked and hacker was asking for money to release the
account. Unauthorized access and modification to email account was suspected. With the
help of email received from the hacker, he was traced in a house in Rawalpindi. His
residence was raided and he was arrested. His computer was seized and analyzed in
forensic lab of cyber crime wing. Forensic examination of the computer revealed that he
had committed unauthorized access to the email account and modified it to have control
over it. He was prosecuted and a process of criminal proceedings against him is
continuing in session court.

These are examples of few cases of cyber crimes which were reported during the last
about 5 years. This category of white-collar crime is a recent addition in criminal
literature of our society. Although Pakistan is yet to develop a computer based system of
governance and economy, but computer is now a part of every house hold. The case
highlighted in this part of research work, are merely smaller reflection of cyber crime
activity, a number of cases stand unreported due to several reasons. The biggest reason is
that people are not aware where to report and how to go about it. At the same time, they
themselves are involved committing cyber crime in a way because over 95 percent of the
computer users are using pirated software that are available from street hawkers, net caf,
hardware repair shops and several other places at a fraction of cost of original. Some
victims of cyber crime just wish to live with complacency.

The empirical data reflected above provide ample evidence that one of the emerging
features of cyber crime in the given situation is that in most of the cases perpetrators are
present or past associates of the victim business entities. They somehow retain essential
details to play their tricks for their criminal motives to perpetrate the crime.

161

If we see the behavior of offenders of cyber crimes and examine their profile, they are all
well educated, well trained and skilled individuals. The deviant behavior of cyber
criminals nicely fits into the literature of opportunity theory of criminology (Felson,
1998, also see Felson & Clarke, 1998). They have good opportunities of finding a
respectable job in IT sector and still in a position to earn handsome amounts. What makes
them to follow a criminal path? Analytically speaking it appears that these technocriminals are in a position to apply their rational choice for criminal activity for quick
gains. They properly work out possibilities of reward and punitive cost of their criminal
choice. One of the offenders discussed above had admitted to have committed the crime
just for fun sake. However, he must have rationally thought of his actions before he
ventured to break access control barriers when he managed to send obnoxious emails
from one employee to another. Theoretical orientation of motivation and opportunity also
seems fitting into crimes of these techno-criminals. By virtue of their skill, knowledge,
position and experience, these offenders have an all time opportunity to commit a crime
of this nature. The possibility of committing these crimes sitting at ones own place of
residence or at any other place provides a favorable opportunity for the criminal motives.
Thus a combination of theory of rational choice and theory of motivation and opportunity
seems operative and confirming the criminal behavior of cyber crime offenders.

A more deep insight into behavioral pattern of cyber offenders reveals that through out
this research work, we have not found female offenders committing the white collar
crimes. However, empirical data reflected above has clearly shown some female
participants in these criminal activities along with their male colleagues. Evidence is
emerging here that instead of rational choice and motivation and opportunity orientations
it is power dynamics that works as catalyst for cyber crimes like many other crimes. It
has been main theses of this humble work that criminal behavior is adopted by whitecollar criminals due to the power at their hands. Power here necessarily implies and
means ability of an individual to influence things around him. The power in this context
is essentially connected with their positions. It is the skill, knowledge, experience and
access of these white-collar offenders to area of crime that transformed into their power

162

to commit crime. This power drives their behavior to commit cyber crimes for
foreseeable rewards or gains. These rewards or gains may be perceived or perceivable
and provide drive for power at their hands to commit these crimes. It is this power of the
individuals that glamorizes the crime and threshold of this power also de-stigmatizes the
criminal behaviour.
QUACKERY
A Quack is often referred to as a pretender of medical skill; a charlatan and one who talks
pretentiously about his expertise, knowledge and skills without any sound knowledge of
the subject. The practice and promotion of quackery mostly involves deliberate
deception. The medical remedy they promote may not have a scientific reasoning but
most practitioners of quackery firmly believe or at least show their belief in their
prescriptions to be effective. They may not have requisite qualification and registered
with the regulating authority but they continue to practice and prescribe medicines and
perform surgeries. These quacks practice against the bottom line requirement of law that
they must use competent skills and work with due care. They play with the life and health
of their victims for financial gains without having skills and capacity to work with due
diligence.

Quackery is another form of white-collar crime as it involves deception and exploitation


of the victim by way of treatments for healthcare that are neither competent nor
recognized. The usual way of promoting quackery is through unwitting victims who
share their experiences and misinformation with others, both relatives and friends,
without exactly knowing about what brought cure to their disease, were they really
having a disease or have they really cured as a result of treatment received from a quack.
These quacks now also use print and electronic media to promote their business where
they introduce themselves as professors, disease specialists and scientists of unique
qualification and experience without having any formal medical qualification and
experience. They hold themselves to be experts to treat a disease or physical injury or
disability that normally has no recognition in medical science. Thanks to weak regulatory
mechanism and ignorant and supine society. They possess no formal qualification or

163

training but still equate themselves having skill and expertise of that trained or qualified
level. Bulk of these quacks established themselves like mushroom growth.

A quack may be working in scientific ways in many respects and also involved in
unscientific practices in some other ways. Homeopaths are seen practicing allopathic
drugs; allopaths are practicing both homeopathic and allopathic drugs. Paramedics and
pharmacists are practicing medicines and surgeries in whatever way they can earn
money. Another class among them includes completely unqualified people practicing as
quacks. This class claim to have inherited their healing skills from their father, mentors
or some other relative who was previously practicing the same way. This class sells
traditional drugs manufactured by them and usually claim having skills of manufacturing
these drugs that is acquired from their predecessors. The drugs usually include metallic
agents like, gold, silver, copper etc that is passed through a process of calcification and is
transformed into a powdery form. In traditional parlance it is called kushta. It is given
for oral use and is claimed to be beneficial for physical strength, sexual power and to
improve memory. Some of the herbal preparation made from plants, leaves, and roots are
also used by these traditional quacks to prepare syrups, powder, tablets and pastes. These
are prescribed for improvement of digestive system, memory improvements, fatigue, and
physical strength. They usually have their customers who habitually use their products
and provide them permanent source of income and still putting their health at risk.
Misleading promotion facilitated by electronic media acts as a catalyst for promotion of
white-collar crime of quackery to trap unwitting and unsuspecting victims. Their way of
treatment is not systematic or symptomatic simply because they are not qualified.

Modus Operandi

There is enough empirical evidence that some of the quacks imitate and repeat
prescriptions of a qualified specialist to treat a disease of their victim patient. This
practice may bring cure to their patient for the time being but later he may end up in
problems as the quack would not be able to assess as to why a particular medicine was
prescribed by the specialist and what were the probable adverse effects that were to be

164

addresses. Similarly the products sold for healthcare may be useful for some purposes but
worthless or even harmful for others (Stephen, 2007). In our society poor state of
healthcare facilities provide breeding grounds for the white-collar crime of quackery to
flourish. The quacks have their nice time to deceive and defraud their unwitting and
unsuspecting victims who in search for a cheap treatment loose their money and health to
these quacks. These quacks are conveniently accessible in neighborhoods, streets and
nearby localities almost everywhere. They sell questionable products and services and
involve themselves in questionable practices of performing surgical procedures, treating
diseases and prescribing medicines having no effects. Lack of awareness on part of
unwitting and unsuspecting patients (victims) in seeking prompt medical treatment in
event of a disease from these quacks brings economic hardships to the poor. Their house
hold income is drained in case any member of a family falls sick and still the disease
getting complicated.

According to a survey conducted in 2001, the high cost of medical treatment was
highlighted as one of the major reasons for the economic deprivation of many
households. The survey revealed that the majority of poor households (around 54 per
cent) relied on private allopathic medical practitioners, reflecting on the poor quality of
services delivered through government managed medical facilities (Kardar and Nadia,
2004). This poor state of access to medical facilities, drive the poor to seek relief from a
quack just for the time being. Thus Poverty and quackery compliment each other. There
is tremendous empirical evidence coming from the health care specialists that even if the
patient finally approaches a specialist for treatment, family and friends of the patient
remain reluctant to trust his diagnosis as the quack they have already visited would
misguide them to cracking limits and they would tend to disbelieve the specialist. The
problem becomes more complex where surgery is proposed as only treatment by the
surgeons and the quack was treating the patient previously by prescribing medicines only
and assuring the family that it was not a case of surgery. This lack of awareness functions
as catalyst for white-collar crime of quacks and they find glamour in this criminal
activity. Absence of a regulatory mechanism promotes de-stigmatization of this white-

165

collar crime. As a result society at large and poor in particular continues to suffer. A
surgeon explained his experience:

During routine practice in the clinic a patient with a complaint of blood in urine
was examined. After investigation, it was found that one of the kidneys of the
patient was partially damaged and it was having a stone of sizable dimension. The
patient was previously being treated by a quack in suburban village. This quack
was a regular employee of a government hospital and was running his own clinic
in the evening. The patient was advised immediate surgery for removal of stone.
After consultations, the family refused proposed surgery for the patient and
insisted that their doctor in hometown has assured them that only medicine can
cure his ailment. He was charging them money and was prescribing high doses of
cortisone with pain killers on fortnightly basis. This cured the symptoms for the
time being and as the patient stopped medicines, the symptoms of blood in urine
with sever pain started. After a treatment of over six months from the quack, the
patient was brought again for treatment. This time with willingness for surgery
proposed earlier. Fresh investigation revealed that kidney has now completely
been spoiled and its removal was the only option (Surgeon Mansoor, Personal
communication, November 22, 2007).
Treating Diabetes

Ali, a banker by profession was afraid of his wifes second stage of diabetes. Impressed
with a 30 minute documentary on a local TV channel where the homeopath doctor was
projected as diabetes specialist. The so called diabetes specialist used rarely heard,
technical terminology of medicine to impress his potential victims. He claimed to cure
the disease with his unique skill and expertise in six months time whereas it is an
established finding of medical science that diabetes is irreversible disease and cannot be
completely cured. In hope for a possible cure, Ali approached the hospital for treatment
of his wife. They were prescribed some medicines and were advised to pay monthly
visits. The prescribed medicines were to be replenished every month that was costing
them lot of money with no felt or visible effects. Ali was curiously watching foreseeable
improvement in ailment of his wife but he could not see any difference. Before next visit
he checked diabetes level of his wife and it was rather high. During consultation he
complained to the specialist about the adverse developments. The so called specialist
confidently denied his claim and checked up the diabetes level using glocumetre kept by
his side. The diabetes level was shown to be ideal. The specialist claimed that there was

166

some mistake in method of checking or glocumetre used must be erroneous. Ali was
astonished and tended to believe the specialist. Later on arriving back home he rechecked
the diabetes level using his glocumetre, and the result was the same as before. He
continued the treatment with cautious mind and kept checking the diabetes levels. No
cure was seen. He used different glocumetre to recheck the diabetes level but result was
validated. Then he realized that the glocumetre used by the specialist must have been
engineered to give the ideal findings. On his next visit to the specialist, he brought along
his own gadgetry to match the results. The results were ideal on the glocumetre used by
the specialist and it was different and beyond the normal level on glocumetre used by the
patient. The specialist still insisted to complete the course of doses and only then any
opinion may be formed. Anxious husband got the doses of medicine examined from a
chemical laboratory, and it was found that the medicine prescribed by the so called
specialist was a mixture of flour, salt, corn and sodium bicarbonate. Thus after loosing
his money and time Ali and his wife had to live with it.

These quacks keep experimenting on ailing patients and make money. As a result they
complicate their cases beyond repair. Most of these quacks have a medical store to sell
their drugs to their victims thus having multiple choices to fleece from their victims.

Herbal Treatment

A cardio physician explained that a herbal medicine expert gained popularity for his
capsule that he was selling for improvement in sexual power. The doctor confronted a
patient with abnormal electrocardiogram. The patient was having symptoms of
occasional chest pain.

During detailed interview the patient disclosed that he was

regularly using capsules from that herbal expert and found it to be of utmost benefit.
Smelling something fishy, the physician advised the patient to bring the capsule. On
examination and after chemical analysis the physician discovered that the capsule was
filled with half dose of sildanafil powder that is used in famous sex drug Viagra. Based
on clinical tests it is prohibited for heart patients. Import of the drug is banned but it is
freely available from most of stores. Thanks to smuggling and professional cariers. The

167

quack was charging 4 times more price for half tablet and claiming this to be his unique
invention.

A Psychiatrist explained another of deceit:

While I was practicing, I observed my nursing assistant was attempting to keep a


copy of every prescription I was writing for my patients. Later, after months of
observation when I checked up, I came to know that he had friendship and may be
partnership with a quack in his hometown. This quack was prescribing medicines
written by me for my patients. My assistant was noting down complaints of the
patients on backside of the copy of my prescribed medicines to keep a record for
complaints of the patients and treatment prescribed. This way, the quack was
attempting to keep his business going without realizing that every patient has
different symptoms to be treated and every medicine cannot be prescribed for
every patient with same complaints. The ultimate sufferers are the poor, innocent
and unaware public. The quack was making money at the cost of health of his
victims. ( Dr.Niaz, personal communication, October 3, 2007).
A young lady felt severe pain in her stomach at midnight. She was brought to a near by
clinic where the so called doctor diagnosed her with stomachache gave her some
medicines and admitted her for further treatment. The medicines could bring no relief and
she kept making toss and turns the whole night. When her condition deteriorated, her
husband complained to the doctor who was left with no option except to refer her to
another well equipped hospital after charging substantial amount for his services. The
specialists at the hospital diagnosed her with appendicitis and advised an immediate
surgery as little time was left and the further complications could lead to death. The lady
was immediately operated upon and her life was saved.

A boy of 8 years was suffering from fever and was brought to a nearby clinic. The person
posing himself to be a doctor treated him for ordinary fever and continued medication.
The boy could not recover despite the parents continued paying to the quack. After a
stint of 15 days, condition of the boy deteriorated and he lost his weight substantially.
The parents decided to leave the clinic and approached a well established government
hospital. The doctors there diagnosed that the boy was suffering from typhoid that was
by then at critical stage.

168

It is because of the perception of low cost and easy accessibility that people accept
treatment from a quack.

It is indeed low priority attached by the victim to his health that

lands him into wrong hands. Search for convenience and desire for quick cure play
behind this phenomenon that allows the perpetrators to silently rob the poor and damage
their health. In this process the lucrative opportunities for the white-collar crime are
created. Loose regulatory control further increases possibilities for abuse of position by
these quacks.

This is because of which this research work argues that apathetic

consumers are a cause for Glamourization and de-stigmatization of white-collar crimes.

De-stigmatizing Quackery

Every day reports in media showing adverse outcome of treatment by quacks are strong
indicators to substantiate how complex the problem of white collar criminality of these
quacks is and how it is damaging the society and how alarmingly the practice is
continuing unhindered. These include adverse reaction from a drug, delay in getting
proper medical treatment and even death during treatment. A midwife posing as a doctor
created mess by conducting surgery on a girl brought to her with a complaint of
abdominal pain. Later girl was shifted to a city medical facility in a critical condition.
The surgeon there discovered that a part of her intestine was missing. After lot of efforts
the surgeon was able to repair the intestine and the girl recovered from deep trouble. The
midwife was practicing as a doctor for many years and relatives of the girl were not
aware that she was not qualified. She quickly proposed immediate surgery to fleece
money from the family of the girl.

Such instances of fraud and criminal negligence are not uncommon. There have been
several reported cases where these medicos have pretended themselves to be the doctors
to deceive their patients. It is very rare that patient or their relative raise hue and cry.
Even where such hue and cry is raised, hardly any compensation is paid or culprit is
punished. It is this flaw in system of governance that is providing rationale, motivation

169

and favorable definitions for the crime. An editorial in a national daily underlined this
flaw of regulatory system:

in the absence of a proper system of healthcare, the people there are


left at the mercy of quacks and untrained midwives whose poor knowledge of
medicine does little to provide help to the sick or pregnant women. While the
government mulls over plans to improve the conditions of the health outlets, it
must also think of ways to stop medical malpractice that should include legal
action against erring doctors, nurses and quacks. (Curbing medical malpractice,
2007).
Chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee of Pakistan Medical Association on quackery
gave interesting facts to share.

The problem of quackery is not new in our society. Its depth, dimension and
spectrum have increased manifolds over the period. The first time the problem of
quackery was examined during colonial times in 1946 when Bohr report was
brought out. At that time these quacks were selling sex drugs only. With passage
of time their number and variety of activities have increased. Now they are selling
capsules, conducting surgeries. Hakims and homeopaths are prescribing allopathic
drugs. In 1961, dispensers and other paramedics started practicing medicines due
to shortage of qualified doctors and due to absence of law against quackery. In an
attempt to enlarge healthcare facility to a wide gamut of population, the quackery
was institutionalized at government level. In 1979, the then military government
condoned quackery by permitting paramedics to practice medicine if he or she
had worked with a doctor for 10 years. This thoughtless permission virtually
allowed every one to practice medicines and perform surgeries as there was no
check and regulatory mechanism. Lady health workers were encouraged to open
clinics and do everything that can bring money and harm the public health.
Absence of a regulatory mechanism to check activities of these quacks are playing
havoc with health of a common man and society is paying high price (Dr. Aziz,
Personal Communication, December 7, 2007).
A survey responded by 65 out of 100 practicing surgeons and physicians conducted
during this research work reveled that only 2% of the patients visiting these doctors on
their first visit disclosed that they were previously treated by a quack. Only 7% were
aware that the quack treating them was not a proper doctor and still they preferred to seek
his advice. Among these patients 92% were incorrectly diagnosed, 62% among them
requiring surgeries were kept on wrongly prescribed drugs thereby complicating their
surgeries. About 68% were not aware what drug was prescribed for them by the quacks.

170

This situation reflects that overwhelming majority of victims is unaware about


competence of the person they are consulting for their ailment. They approach a
competent doctor after enough damage is caused to their health. Unhindered and
unaccountable social and functional environment encourages these quacks to continue
their crime against the society. It is this simple and cunning way of fleecing money that
makes this crime lucrative for these offenders and they have now outnumbered the
qualified doctors. They are now 4 times more than the qualified doctors. It is perhaps the
major reason that a person having health problem first encounters a quack. These include
fake doctors, uncertified x-ray labs, maternity homes, pathology laboratories and drug
stores and pharmacies. Two major contributory factors facilitating white-collar crimes of
these quacks are availability of any type of drug without any prescription and free sale of
capsule shells. These quacks have opportunities to fill up these capsule shells with
anything and give it to their patients as effective drug and charge any amount they want,
depending upon how quickly it provides relief to the victim and how safely he can be
deceived.

These quacks not only rob the public but also they sell government medicines through
their clinics wherever it is possible. This practice is occasionally prevalent among the
paramedics staff employed at government hospitals. They have access to these medicine
stores and have opportunities to pilfer. These medicos often run their clinics in suburban
areas where poor population with low awareness and literacy rate is their lucrative target.
A group of five paramedics from a military hospital had to loose their job for running
illegal clinics and steeling medicines from government hospital. One of them was
running his clinic in suburban area of Korangee posing himself to be a doctor. Other four
were assisting him and providing medicines stolen from the military hospital. They faced
court martial and were shunted out of service.

These case examples on one hand explain indifferent response of the victims and their
families about their own health and on the other hand it is reflective of a social milieu
that facilitates crime of quackery that goes unabated. Misleading advertisements in media

171

play their role even to misguide aware but needy patients who in search for cure tend to
land in hands of these quacks whose only aim is to mint money by all fair and unfair
means. The society in general and victim in particular remain oblivious of the causes and
consequences of their own agonies and sufferings. The perpetrator remains socially
integrated with the victim to cause more harm and his crime meets no stigma. The
perpetrator hence finds glamour in his criminality and thus glamorization and destigmatization move together where policing and regulatory mechanism is non existent.
The feelings of shame and guilt are gone and create no impediments in way of the
perpetrator as he works in a professional subculture where everybody else of his position
and status is behaving the same way. He does not believe that he is causing harm to
society and as he moves forward on this path of de-stigmatization, this belief becomes
stronger. Since these quacks are accepted by the society in general, any voice and moot
against their criminal activities are hardly heard of and they continue to justify their
presence and practices to harm the society in their own way.

Quantum and Density

A recent report of Pakistan Medical Association has interesting facts to show how the
danger of quackery is harming the society:

More than 600,000 quacks are playing with the lives of poor people. They are
allowed to run clinics, perform surgeries and deal with emergencies. The
government is criminally allowing them to continue despite protest from citizens,
and professional bodies. It is just not possible to have a good health care system in
presence of these kinds of healers who are in fact responsible for the spread of
disease. Print and electronic media is propagating their dangerous methods of
treatment. The government should intervene and stop promotion of unqualified
homeopaths, spiritual healers and quacks who claim to treat all kinds of illnesses.
They are misleading the lay persons who are becoming the victims of these
robbers. (Pakistan Medical Association, 2007).
By working out cautiously and conservatively it can safely be estimated that these
600,000 quacks are robbing the society of their house hold income of over Rs. 300
million daily. Over 3 million families or individuals are contributing towards this social
wound and still cost of damage caused to the health of victims by these quacks is

172

immeasurable. A population of over 170 million people is robbed of Rs. 85 Billion


annually. The concern of the professional body is genuine and it is an indicator how deep
rooted the problem of white-collar crime of quacks is in our society.

These quacks are not only pretending to be experts to treat all sorts of diseases but also
they are source of spreading infectious diseases like hepatitis, AIDS etc. Unqualified
street dentist are often seen working on road side street hawker style clinics treating their
patients to clean or remove a teeth and replace it with an artificial one. They are seen
packing up their clinics by the evening and next day they disappear to practice at some
other place. They use un-sterilized instruments; work in unhygienic environment and use
dirty tools. They violate basic principles of hygiene and use the same instrument on
several patients without having any facility of sterilization. They need no license and no
certification of their skills. It is a daily seen phenomenon that some of the charlatans sell
their product to treat problems of digestive system, improve memory and complexion,
treat impotency, control obesity, remove wrinkles, cure every type of pains such as
muscular pain, headache, backaches and treat baldness etc.

Communication Skills as Catalyst

Uncomfortable ailments like headaches, backaches, fatigue and dizziness are such
chronic and uncomfortable ailments that are often very difficult to diagnose and resolve.
Thats when people might be tempted to go shopping for some type of relief (How to
avoid quacks, 1993). These charlatans are very effective in communication and have no
hesitation to misrepresent the facts and quickly convince their victims who are mostly
unwitting and unsuspecting laymen and other citizens. They are very persuasive and
make tall claims to market their products and tell all sorts of lies. They know how to
make afraid, how to make one feel guilty if one does not buy their drug. They know what
one loves to listen and know how to say that.

Todays quackery has developed new

themes and products. It takes every advantage of todays anxieties and prejudices and
adopts whatever scientific jargon makes it sound convincing (Grigg, 1998). The victims
with a background of low literacy level and low awareness quickly get ready to benefit

173

from the product offered and are willing to pay cash instantly without considering any
scientific value of the product sold to them. The product sold may not have any scientific
value, have no details of contents ratio or is of no effect. Sometimes well aware and
educated people also land into their trap when they loose patience after having been
treated by a competent physician or when they become desperate to get well earliest
without realizing that cure takes time. A renowned activist of medical profession and an
ex-secretary general of Pakistan medical association and current member of PMDC
explain how these quacks are functioning in a systematic way:

These quacks apply innovative techniques to trap their victims. Instead of


guiding him to a right place they influence his decision making by using their
cleverly speaking skills by claiming to have ability to treat any disease. They have
deep rooted influence on our population of low literacy level and awareness.
These quacks use high potency antibiotics and steroids to bring quick relief and
hence claiming perfection in their ability. Repeat doses of such antibiotics spoil
immunity system in the body of a victim and he later becomes immune to such
antibiotics when in real need. Such unregulated treatment leads to renal failure,
cancer and hepatitis. They claim to treat hernia without surgical procedure, where
there is no way recognized by medical science to cure hernia without surgery.
Although cheaper treatment is possible in government hospitals, these quacks
misguide their victims by making tall claims. The innocent victim finds it
convenient to seek timely but temporary relief and prefer a quack over a qualified
medical advice. As a result these quacks get rich and the poor victim looses his
money and health. Despite repeat cried by PMA, government could not make
laws to check this menace of quackery. Some of the bureaucrats in decision
making position in government have no capacity to realize the damage being
caused to the society. PMDC also have no capacity and hence no interest to play
their role. They are yet to have teeth to check this menace. (Dr Shah, personal
communication November 27, 2007).
Bogus Certificates and Credentials

Another reason for mushroom growth of these quacks is bogus certificate of paramedics
qualification and faulty examination system and defective system of renewal. A big
scandal hit the news highlighting that last year over 42000 fake certificates were issued
from 1996 to 2006, to ineligible and unqualified individuals in connivance with some
lower level officials of Punjab Medical Faculty, the organization responsible for

174

regulating certification and qualification of paramedics. The report of a 5 member inquiry


committee gave startling revelations:

The Punjab Medical Faculty was supposed to issue 11,558 certificates but it
issued 53,855 such certificates since 1996. It can safely be stated that the number
of certificates issued by Punjab medical Faculty is many times more than the
number of candidates actually passed. In view of mass distribution of certificates
issued on a commercial basis it is suggested that health department should get
information from field through its drug inspectors about dispensers working as
drug sale license holders on the basis of fake certificates issued. It needs
verification both in the field as well as at the PMF to eliminate unqualified and
bogus certificate holders who are playing with lives of innocent people. The
figure of bogus certificate-holders runs in thousands who are scattered in the
province and have been affecting the health of people particularly rural population
for many years. Affiliation of private paramedical training institutions had turned
into a lucrative commercial business without any quality control, and it is
suggested that all affiliated private institutions should be re-inspected and
re-evaluated through neutral inspectors. (Government of Punjab, 2006).
The suggestion of the committee that drug inspectors should be deputed to verify fake
certificate from the field, is amazing because another anti corruption mechanism will
have to be devised to check corruption of these drug inspectors. This committee also
found that three lower level staff have amassed huge amount of assets in various forms
and recommended that they be handed over to National Accountability Bureau for
investigations and trial.

Earlier in 2005, another three member committee found:


Paramedical examination for the year 2004 was held in gross violation of rules
and regulations. It revealed that all the 9 examiners who marked the scripts, had
behaved against all norms of paper-marking and were responsible for gross
violations of misconduct and corruption. It said that these examiners had
intentionally passed those candidates who should have been failed and failed
those who were supposed to get higher marks. The results of the re-evaluation by
independent examiners were shocking as most of the failed candidates were
declared passed, and those securing good marks were declared fail. The initial
assessment showed that out of 3546 candidates 1130 had qualified bringing the
percentage of successful candidates to 32%. The re-evaluation showed that only
668 had passed bringing the pass percentage to 18.8 %.( Government of Punjab,
2005).

175

The situation arising out of these two reports indicates how dysfunctional social system
of norms and moral values is contributing towards glamorizing the white-collar crimes of
quacks. It is unbelievable that few lower level staff members could play havoc with the
system of qualification and certifications of paramedics without patronage by their
superiors. It is a notable feature that the big fish managed to escape. While these quacks
are not even properly qualified to be dispensers, they are practicing as doctors without
feelings of guilt and shame. In the given dysfunctional social milieu it will not be
surprising if they justify their guilt claiming that they have paid heavy amount to
purchase their certificates and hence they are entitled to receive the benefit of their
investment. This attempt to neutralize there guilt leads us to the heart of a situation that is
called anomie. Here more emphasis is placed on cultural goals of getting rich without
giving any consideration to means of accumulating this wealth. Utter disregard of norms
and core social values of human respect and dignity are ignored both by the quacks and
those arming them with a license to play with the lives of innocent people. The only end
before them is money with no consideration of means to achieve it.

Theoretical Relevance of Quackery

White-collar crime of quackery is thriving in the society for many reasons. These include
ignorance of the menace by the society, unawareness of victims, bad governance,
abysmal state of healthcare system, and non existence of accountability and audit
mechanism, lack of coercive state system of enforcement and absence of regulatory and
policing system.

These factors are what Sutherland stated definitions favorable to

commission of crime. The glamour for money coming without any hard labor and risk
provides motivation to the quack to adopt this criminal behavior. Non existence of law
regarding drug safety and flaws in enforcement mechanism provides thriving opportunity
for commission of this white-collar crime. This social structure, as Coleman explained
provides a favorable set of circumstances that allows an individual to do something
desirable (Coleman, 1989). Among the theoretical frame work explained in chapter 2, the
white-Collar crime of quackery can safely be placed to conform to the theory of
motivation and opportunity and partly conforming to the theory of differential

176

association. These quacks learn their criminal behavior in communication with others that
is at least a communication of gestures where these quacks get encouragement from those
already practicing with a specific motive of making money by deceitful acts. They have
specific direction of motives and drives that is learned from definitions of legal codes that
are favorable for commission of crime of quackery as there is no law and law
enforcement mechanism that can block their way and abstain them from this crime
against society. There is no whistle blowing that could highlight moral and ethical
barriers in way of crime of quackery. In some cases it is the victim himself who avails
services of these quacks by choice or out of necessity. It is the culture and social
structure of our society that provides motivation to the criminal. There are no social
pressures against the crime. This non existence of social pressure provides neutralization
to the criminal to continue with his criminal motives.

177