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Sharjeel Memon released after arrest on return to Pakistan

Updated Mar 19, 2017 05:52pm
NAB officials arrest the former minister at Islamabad airport. —DawnNews
NAB officials arrest the former minister at Islamabad airport. —DawnNews

Former provincial information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon concluded his almost two years long self-imposed exile and returned to Pakistan, where he was arrested and later released on late Saturday night, reported DawnNews.

The former minister was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials at Islamabad airport. Memon is facing several charges of monetary misappropriation and corruption.

He was released after verification of his bail before arrest and written undertaking from his lawyer that he will comply with authorities orders.

Earlier, the NAB chairman had filed a reference against Memon in connection with alleged misconduct in payments regarding advertising campaigns.

The reference said that the investigation was conducted regarding corruption and corrupt practices in the advertisement awareness campaigns on TV and FM channels between July 2013 and June 2015 and it was found that the accused acted in connivance with each other resulting in a loss of Rs3,279,177,029 to the national exchequer.

It was revealed in the investigation that an amount of Rs5,766,479,766 was paid to seven advertisement companies in violation of the Sindh Public Procurement Rules 2010, said the reference.

Sharjeel Memon was alleged of issuing contracts to favourite advertising agencies at exorbitant rates even without confirming the market rates. Besides, the former information minister directly approved the media plan submitted by the advertising agencies.

After the arrest, Memon's son, Rawal Sharjeel Memon said that his father had returned knowing "there was a great chance of being arrested."

In a series of tweets, Rawal termed the arrest "ridiculous".