NAB recovers Rs24b in fake accounts scam
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has recovered Rs23.85 billion in the fake bank accounts scam, the anti-graft body claimed in a statement issued on Friday.
NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, chaired a meeting at its headquarters to review the performance of the anti-graft body's Rawalpindi wing.
NAB Deputy Chairman Hussain Asghar, Prosecutor General Accountability Syed Asghar Haider, Operations DG Zahir Shah, NAB Rawalpindi DG Irfan Naeem Mangi, and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
Mangi informed the participants of the meeting that NAB Rawalpindi had filed 14 references in the fake bank accounts scam which were under adjudication before the accountability courts in Islamabad.
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He elaborated that these references included those filed PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Liaquat Ali Qaimkhani, Khursheed Anwar Jamali, Ejaz Haroon, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Bahria Town (Bagh-e-Ibn-Qasim), Muhammad Bilal Sheikh, Khawaja Anwar Majeed, Manzoor Qadir Kaka, Ejaz Ahmed Khan, Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, Muhammad Hussain Syed and Hussain Lawai among others.
Mangi added that NAB Rawalpindi had also filed a reference against PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal, a former federal minister for planning and development, with an accountability court. The reference has been filed in connection with the Narowal Sports City project in which Ahsan allegedly misused his authority to illegally enhance the scope of the project from Rs34.75 million to around Rs2.99 trillion.
The Narowal Sports City (NSC) project, formerly known as Sports Stadium Narowal, was initially conceived in 1999 on the directions of Ahsan “without any feasibility study and codal formalities as per law”.
The project was initially approved at a cost of Rs34.74 million by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP), headed by Ahsan himself, who “in a case of conflict of interests diverted the funds for his political mileage”.
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Also in the year 1999, Ahsan allegedly not only intervened in the official domain of the inter-provincial coordination ministry, but also illegally directed the Pakistan Sports Board and NESPAK to enhance the scope of the project.
Accordingly, the scope was enhanced as per his directions and resulted in the cost of the project reaching to the tune of Rs97.52 million.
Ahsan allegedly not only enhanced the scope of the project but also personally identified the land for NSC project. He also provided specific Khasra Numbers to the Pakistan Sports Board to acquire the land identified by him, the DG added.
The project was shelved in the year 1999 by the Pakistan Sports Board on the directions of the planning and development on the grounds that the NSC project did not have the requisite economic necessity.
The project was again started in 2009 and approved at the cost of around Rs732 million. However, the project was devolved to the Punjab government in 2011 after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Mangi informed the participants of the meeting that when Ahsan took over charge as the planning and development minister in 2013, he “illegally” directed his subordinates to include NSC project in PSDP 2013-14 which was not included in its original draft.
The NAB Rawalpindi DG informed the participants of the meeting that the anti-graft body had filed 31 references in the Modarba cases with the accountability courts and recovered Rs1 billion besides freezing assets worth Rs1.64 billion.
NAB has arrested 45 people in connection with the Modarba scam including Mufti Ehsan-ul-Haq and Mufti Ibrar-ul-Haq.
Mangi added that NAB Rawalpindi had filed a reference against Mufti Ehsan-ul-Haq, the CEO of Fayazi Group of Industries, along with nine others in the Modarba scam and an accountability court awarded 10 years imprisonment to him. It also imposed a Rs9 billion fine on him.
A fine of Rs1 billion was imposed on the others.
The NAB chairman said the anti-graft body was committed to making Pakistan corruption-free by adopting the “accountability for all” policy.
He added that NAB’s anti-corruption strategy had started yielding “excellent results”.
The chairman appreciated the excellent performance of NAB Rawalpindi under the supervision of Mangi and hoped that the bureau would continue to work with more dedication, devotion and commitment in future in order to conduct all complaint verifications, inquiries as investigations on the basis of solid evidence as per law.