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LAHORE: Senior officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday recorded their statements before the Federal Invest­igation Agency (FIA) which is probing the illegalities allegedly committed in different projects and recruitment in the PCB.

PCB’s chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed, director cricket operations and former captain Intikhab Alam, general manager logistics Asad Mustafa and three other officials recorded their statements before FIA investigation officer Sajjad Mustafa Bajwa.

The probe being conducted by the FIA concerns the construction of Islamabad Cricket Stadium, some three dozen appointments in violation of PCB rules, giving shops outside the Gaddafi Stadium on lease and rent on far less market rates, hiring a luxury car on rent on high rate for a former PCB chairman, allocation of funds to regional academies in violation of rules and irregularities in giving advertising rights.

“The PCB officials have recorded their statements in at least six separate inquiries the FIA is probing. The PCB officials in question will be re-summoned during the course of investigation,” an FIA official told Dawn.

He said the agency would fix the responsibility after a thorough probe. “We have detected illegalities in these projects and are extending the scope of investigation to all those involved in them,” the official added.

Another official said the PCB had awarded the contract of construction of the Islamabad Cricket Stadium to a third lowest bidder.

“The PCB paid Rs21 million initially and later in the name of additional work gave away further Rs34 million to it in gross violation of rules, showing collusion between the PCB officials and the construction firm. According to [the] rules, only 15 per cent of the agreed amount can be given for the additional work,” the official underlined.

Similarly, the PCB officials were quizzed on the hiring of some three-dozen appointments, mostly on high perks, in violation of the rules in the PCB.

“The PCB also gave away a number of shops outside the Gaddafi Stadium on lease and rent at least 400 per cent less than the market price. This is possible through a ‘mutual understanding’ between the PCB and the shopkeepers in question,” the official said.

According to the official, the FIA was also probing into the foreign tours by the family members and friends of some PCB officials arranged in violation of rules.

The FIA last year also initiated a probe into alleged wrongdoings in four projects — establishment of a bio-mechanical laboratory at the Gaddafi Stad­ium, construction of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Stadium in Lar­kana, cricket academy in Multan and Far End Pavilion at the Gaddafi Stadium. Subhan in the probe into the aforementioned four projects has already recor­ded his statement to the FIA.

According to a source, the technical evaluation of these projects has to be carried out.

“Further action in this probe will be taken once the FIA gets technical reports from the engineers concerned,” he said.

A source in the PCB informed Dawn that several illegalities in PCB matters surfaced in 2014 after one of its officials was caught while taking bribe.

“The PCB top management divided into two groups -- one supporting to lodge a complaint with the FIA and the other was in favour of hushing up the matter. The PCB sacked the official who was caught red-handed, but decided not to send his case to FIA. “Interestingly, the PCB removed the other senior official who unveiled the corruption of the sacked official,” he said.

PCB spokesman Raza Kitchlew did not respond to Dawn queries in this regard.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2018