ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) distributed on Friday Rs34.2 million among 215 victims of a fraudulent investment scheme launched by a company last year.

The cheques were distributed by Deputy Chairman Saeed Ahmed Sargana at NAB’s regional headquarters here.

The company, Unaico, was involved in cheating people by operating an illegal ‘multilevel marketing’ business alluring them to pay large membership fees which entitled them to earning commission on the amounts. However, the members got nothing against the fees. The matter was reported to NAB by a complainant and an inquiry was authorised.

A team seized the company’s bank accounts and assets and closed its office. A committee was set up to verify the claims of the affected people.

On Dec 3 last year, Rs23.3m was paid to 138 claimants.

The bureau’s deputy chairman said at a ceremony on Friday: “NAB is making all out efforts to recover the looted money from the swindlers and the practice of investing in unauthorised schemes in greed of higher returns must be discouraged.”

He urged people to invest only in the approved banking system and investment companies. “NAB is proactively pursuing cases to clear the backlog and taking concrete measures to eradicate corruption,” he said.

NAB’s Regional Director General Zahir Shah said they were handling various cases in which huge amounts had been embezzled by white collar criminals.

ARRESTED: In a separate case, NAB arrested Mardan Municipal Officer Mohammad Aaqil and contractor Sardar Afridi for their alleged involvement in illegal contracts for collection of 2pc immovable property tax and causing a loss to the exchequer.

An inquiry found that the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) had awarded the contract in 2011-12 and 2012-13 to the contractor in violation of the terms and conditions of the Local Council Board. Under rules, there should be a 15pc yearly increase in the contract price but the TMA awarded it below the reserved price. The contractor allegedly planted his own persons in the bidding process for both years.

Published in Dawn January 31st, 2015

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