ISLAMABAD: In a major development in the Rs500 million land scam involving the Defence Housing Autho­rity (DHA), Islamabad, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested on Tuesday three main accused — two former officials of the authority and a chief executive officer of Elysium Holdings Pakistan, a company that according to media reports was once owned by a brother of former army chief retired Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

According to a NAB’s spokesman, the two former DHA officials were arrested for allegedly misusing their authority and violating the contract by selling allotment certificates of the authority illegally and in violation of agreement between DHA and Elysium Holdings Pakistan. One of them, retired Brig Javed Iqbal, was an administrator of the authority, and the other, retired Col Sabahat Qadeer Butt, director project.

The third accused, Waseem Aslam, is said to be the CEO of Elysium Holdings Pakistan. He has been accused of illegal selling non-saleable certificates of the authority in violation of contract agreement and without payment to land owners.

Javed Iqbal and Sabahat Qadeer Butt were arrested in Rawalpindi and Waseem Aslam in Lahore.

Elysium Holdings, reportedly owned by Kamran Kayani, the younger brother of the former army chief, is already facing NAB action in the Rs16 billion DHA City (Lahore) scam.

Kamran Kayani is reportedly abroad. Another brother of the former army chief, retired Brig Amjad Parvez Kayani, recently issued a statement in which he claimed that the former army chief had nothing to do with the businesses of his brothers.

Amjad Kayani also claimed that Elysium Holdings was not owned by Kamran Kayani.

NAB issued an official handout regarding the arrest of the three accused.

It said the management of Elysium Holdings, in connivance with the officials of DHA, had caused a huge loss to the authority by not completing the DHA-I Ranches project and by selling certificates of DHA Ranches in violation of contract agreement.

“Formal inquiry is under process at NAB, Rawalpindi,” the bureau’s spokesman said.

The handout said the Accountability Court Rawalpindi on Thursday granted seven-day physical remand of the three accused till Jan 29.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2016