LAHORE: Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, an aide to the prime minister and ambassador-designate to the United States, appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, on Tuesday and replied to its queries for his role in the alleged stock manipulation case.

According to officials, a combined investigation team of NAB grilled Mr Siddiqui for more than two hours regarding the alleged role of his company – M/s Azgard Nine Limited (ANL) – in the manipulation of shares that caused billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.

Mr Siddiqui had appeared before the CIT last month and recorded his statement.

The bureau is probing affairs of the ANL with regard to siphoning off funds amounting to 23.7 million euros in 2008, which were used to purchase an Italian Company, Monte Bello SRL.

According to NAB, a foreign company, Fairtal SRL, Sweden, was used for the deal, which suffered losses along with its shareholders. There are also allegations that the shares of a company named Agritech Limited were sold to various financial and government institutions at a price higher than the market rate to settle loan defaults. This resulted in a loss of Rs40bn to various financial and government institutions.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2018