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Physical remand extended: Rs3.2 billion recovered from Tauqir Sadiq

Updated August 31, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Aug 30: An accountability court of Islamabad on Friday extended the physical remand of former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq for another 12 days.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the court that they had recovered Rs3.2 billion from Sadiq and expected to have more if the remand was extended.

Tauqir Sadiq has been in the physical custody of NAB for the last 52 days.

According to the NAB ordinance, an accused could remain in the bureau’s custody for maximum 90 days but it is mandatory for the prosecution to produce the accused before the court and seek extension of remand after every 14 days.

NAB additional deputy prosecutor general told the court that so far the bureau had recovered Rs3.2 billion from the accused.

“We have also written a letter to the incumbent Ogra chairman for the recovery of Rs13 billion from different people. We have also recorded statements of four senior officials of Sui Southern Gas Pipeline (SSGPL) and they have revealed important facts,” NAB prosecutor added.

He told the court that Mian Ashfaq, a partner of Tauqir Sadiq, had returned a cheque of Rs13.4 million. The amount was given away as kickbacks.

“The NAB expects to recover Rs42 billion,” the prosecutor claimed.

He said that two co-accused persons in this case have been out of country, one is in Canada and the other one is in Ajman, UAE.

On the other hand counsel for Tauqir Sadiq opposed the physical remand and said that previously NAB was awarded 14 days physical remand but they never interrogated him for eight days.

The counsel said Sadiq, in his capacity as Ogra chairman, never misused his authority and raised the UFG (unaccounted for gas) rate ‘judiciously’ from 5 to 7 per cent.

Accountability Judge Mehmood Bashir after extending the remand of Sadiq directed the NAB officials to produce the accused before the court again on September 10.

It may be mentioned that Sadiq is the main accused in the Rs82 billion Ogra corruption scam.

The other accused in this case are Muzaffer Ali member gas, Mir Kamal Farid member finance and Jawad Jameel staff officer to chairman Ogra.

In the corruption reference NAB alleged that Tauqir Sadiq gave undue and illegal favours to the private companies and individuals causing a loss of Rs82 billions to the national exchequer.

According to the NAB reference, Sadiq in connivance with the co-accused provided undue financial relief to the private firms and individuals and issued licence for the CNG stations on the fake or bogus documents.

Tauqir Sadiq escaped from Pakistan in December last year while the case against him was pending with the accountability court and the Supreme Court was also hearing suo motu proceedings in the corruption scam.

The apex court hearing the case on November 25, 2012 had already struck down the appointment of Sadiq as Ogra chairman.

An accountability court of Rawalpindi had declared Tauqir Sadiq proclaimed offender on March 18, 2013.

Tauqeer Sadiq was brought back to Pakistan by NAB officials on July 09, 2013.