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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday convicted seven persons in the multi-billion rupees Modaraba scam.

According to the verdict announced by the judge Nisar Baig main accused, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed Usmani and Sajjad Ahmed, will undergo eight years rigorous imprisonment. The judge also imposed a fine of Rs5 million on each of them.

The court awarded two years imprisonment to Qamar Shehzad and Faisal Sultan and each of them will pay a fine of Rs2.6 million.

Saifur Rehman, Mohammad Adil and Mohammad Fiaz were awarded one year imprisonment each and they will pay a total fine of Rs1.1 million. Since the accused were in custody for several months, therefore, the court ordered to exclude their detention period from their term.

The convicts were, however, debarred from holding public office for a term not less than 10 years. They would not be able to do business with any financial institution or bank for a decade.

According to the investigation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), about 33,000 people were robbed of Rs31 billion (earlier believed to be Rs6bn) in the name of Islamic investment commonly known as Modaraba.

Thirteen companies were found involved in cheating innocent people in different cities. Most of the companies were being run by religious leaders (muftis) who used the platform of their mosques to convince the people to invest in Modarabas, instead of depositing their hard earned money in government’s saving schemes, which they called ‘un-Islamic’.

More than 40 imams of mosques were used and most of the affected people are said to be seminary students and their family members, widows and retired government employees.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2017

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