PESHAWAR: The National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday filed a Rs2.03 billion corruption reference over high-profile weapon procurement with a local accountability court.

Among the 10 people named in the reference for embezzlement and irregularities are an ex-provincial police officer (PPO), the commandant of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and former chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti’s brother.

The NAB officials submitted the reference to Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, the administrative judge of the accountability court in Peshawar.

Currently, the ex-PPO Malik Naveed and Raza Ali, a brother-in-law of Mr Hoti’s brother Amir Ghazan Khan have been under arrest whereas an ex-budget officer of the police, Jawed Khan, was freed on bail.

A major character of the scam, Arshad Majeed, a private contractor, who was awarded lucrative contracts during purchase of weapons and other items for police, was arrested on Feb 21, 2013, but was released on bail by the Peshawar High Court after he agreed to voluntarily return Rs102 million.

Mr Majeed is not charged in the reference as the NAB claimed that he had turned approver.

Except Malik Naveed, Jawed and Raza Ali, the remaining seven suspects, FC commandant Abdul Majeed Marwat, former additional IGP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (operations) Abdul Latif Gandapur, DIG Central Police Officer Sajid Ali Khan, former DIG Headquarters, Peshawar Mohammad Suleman, former AIG (establishment) at CPO, Peshawar Kashif Alam, then DIG (telecommunication) Sadiq Kamal Orakzai and Amir Ghazan Khan – have not been arrested by the NAB.

About Amir Ghazan, the NAB claimed that he was absconder, whereas Kashif Alam had gone abroad for training.

Most of the police officials named in the case were members of the procurement/purchase committee.

The major evidence with the NAB is a confessional statement recorded by Arshad Majeed on May 25, 2013, wherein he claimed that he made payments to the tune of over Rs1 billion to several people, including Malik Naveed, for getting lucrative contracts and cover-up of the issue.

In a news release issued here, the NAB claimed that on receipt of complaints, the NAB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorised an inquiry against senior police officers Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and others for alleged embezzlement in procurement of SMG (semi machine guns), magazine, ammunition, heavy weapons, bullet proof jackets, night vision goggles etc, in 2008-09 and 2009-10 by violating government rules thus causing a loss of Rs2.03 billion to the exchequer.

It said at the request of police, the provincial government had approved purchase, upgrading weapon and equipment for its use to counter the unabated law and order and security situation in the province.

An amount of over Rs7 billion was released by the federal and provincial governments for recruitment, training of police personnel and procurement of weapons and equipment.

The NAB said during inquiry, it was found that the contractor- turned-approver in connivance with other accused persons was controlling the entire process of competition of bids to get the contract.

According to it, the contract was allegedly awarded to a firm having no previous experience of supplying such items and for which payments were made in advance.

The inspection committee were also found responsible for not carrying out tests/trials of weapons, ammunition and equipment according to procedure and obtained clearance reports from agencies concerned which were later on proved to be wrong and the persons concerned have already been made responsible and booked under the law.

It claimed that the inquiry established involvement of senior police officers both retired and serving in the case.

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