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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to file a reference against a former chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for making illegal investment of more than Rs1.3 billion.

The former ETPB chief, Syed Asif Akhtar Hashmi, and others are accused of making the investment through a private firm, Highlink Capital.

The decision was made in the NAB’s executive board meeting on Wednesday. The meeting also authorised four different investigations.

The first probe targets the director/guarantors of the owners of a Lahore-based private company, Umair Steel Industries, and others for a wilful loan default. The case, referred by the State Bank of Pakistan, led to a loss of Rs52 million to the national exchequer.

Authorises probe against Sindh MPA for causing Rs550m loss to exchequer

Another investigation was approved against the owners of a private company, Power Pack, and others for wilfully defaulting a loan of Rs165m. The case was also referred to the anti-corruption agency by the central bank.

A third investigation was authorised against a sitting MPA of the Sindh Assembly, Abdul Rauf Khoso, and others for misusing their authority, accumulating assets beyond known sources of income and misappropriating government land in connivance with the officials of the Kashmore district revenue department in Kandhkot. The accused caused a loss of Rs550m to the exchequer.

The fourth investigation involves Saeed Ahmed Jagrani, a former director of the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority, and officials of the irrigation department. They are accused of misusing authority, making illegal appointments and carrying out substandard work of stone pitching at Nusrat canal, thus causing a loss of Rs9bn.

The meeting also authorised two inquiries, including one against the owners of a Lahore-based private firm, the Knowledge Kinetic Programme, and officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) for alleged irregularities in the construction of Mangla Dam Raising Project, causing a loss of Rs4bn.

Another investigation was authorised against the officials of the Pakistan Petroleum Ltd and others for allegedly buying shares of MND Exploration and Production Ltd at higher rates in 2012, causing a loss of millions of rupees.

Also, the NAB’s executive board re-authorised an investigation against a senior official of the Quetta food department and others for alleged corruption and stealing wheat bags from a procurement centre in Quetta during 2014-15, causing a loss of Rs278.7m.

An inquiry was re-authorised against Noor Muhammad Leghari, a former secretary of Sindh’s special education department, for illegal recruitment and misusing funds allocated for buying uniforms and daily allowances for disabled people, thus causing a loss of Rs250m.

The NAB also decided to close cases against Asad Qaiser, speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, and Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, an MNA from Sialkot, due to lack of incriminating evidence.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017

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