LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau has estimated that the seized property of the Eden Housing group is more than Rs15 billion and it will start compensating the claimants soon.

The NAB has so far received over 2,000 complaints against the Eden group. The complainants said despite making full payment the housing group failed to hand them over their plots/houses. “The seized property of the Eden group in Lahore and elsewhere is worth more than Rs15bn. According to the procedure, on the accountability court’s order it (property) will be sold and the process of compensating the victims will begin soon,” an official told Dawn.

He said the bank accounts of the suspects had also been frozen.

Owner of the Eden group Dr Amjad and his two sons had managed to flee the country for Canada as the interior ministry did not place their names on the the Exit Control List (ECL) despite the NAB’s request.

The bureau has blamed the interior ministry for not placing the names of owners and directors of the Eden Housing group on the ECL that enabled them to flee the country.

The NAB’s step to blacklist Dr Amjad’s and others’ passports also could not help stop them leaving the country. “NAB had provided the required details of the fraud in Eden projects by its owners and co-owners to the interior ministry but it preferred not to place their names on ECL,” a source said, adding it would be difficult to bring Dr Amjad and others back because they were Canadian nationals.

According to the NAB, a number of affectees have been deprived of their hard-earned money by the Eden housing group. “We have so far received a large number of complaints against it. Merit will be pursued in the matter as criminal proceedings against the Eden administration have been initiated. Steps to attach all properties and freeze bank accounts owned by the group have been taken. Besides the NAB has directed the excise department, Lahore, for not transferring all vehicles registered in the name of the Eden administration,” a NAB official said.

According to another official, the decision to bring back the owners and directors of the group from Canada will be taken by the accountability court.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2018

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