The personal assistant to the Sindh local government (LG) secretary, who was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last month, has reportedly made startling allegations regarding the massive scale of corruption within the local government department, sources within the bureau told Dawn.

The list of beneficiaries to the whopping levels of corruption is reportedly a long one, involving a range of officials, from officer to ministerial level.

Muhammad Ramzan Solangi, personal secretary (PS) to the local government secretary for more than 15 years, was arrested from his office at Sindh Secretariat on April 18.

The official "candidly conceded" before the NAB team that he “remained [an] active part of systemic and entrenched corruption prevalent in Sindh LG department,” read the NAB investigation report.

He reportedly expressed “remorse” and “guided” the NAB team to his residence in Garden area where cash, bonds, banker travel certificates, jewellery, gold bars and other valuables hidden by him in closets were seized from his flat. The total value of the assets was stated to be over Rs33 million, the report said.

An interrogation of the accused was conducted, which led to the divulgence of widespread corruption from which ”the secretary LG, the minister LG and other political individuals, all were regular beneficiaries,” according to contents of the probe report.

Explore: Pakistan's thriving culture of corruption

The NAB team also claimed to have seized a chit from his custody, which the accused had saved as a “memo” regarding the alleged distribution of “monthly corruption share to minister and officials of LG department, an MNA and others,” the investigation report reveals.

Solangi also disclosed that the LG secretary had allegedly “diverted colossal funds to Solid Waste Management Board and WASA Hyderabad and to various other development schemes of Hyderabad and subsequently embezzled a large chunk of these funds,” claims the NAB report.

The accused LG official also alleged that there were at least 600 ghost employees in LG department whose salaries were being embezzled by different officials of the department.

He reportedly told NAB investigators that Rs100 million were being embezzled from the budget of District Municipal Corporation (DMC) West of Karachi on a monthly basis.

Solangi also divulged details of the monthly corruption that goes on in DMCs under the head of 'fuel', which amounted to Rs20 million per month, the NAB sources said.

According to the NAB investigation report, the arrested accused narrated the DMC West, Karachi officers' “permanent corruption” in tandem with contractors and alleged that “50 per cent of the payments issued for development works are mutually embezzled by these corrupt elements.”

The accountability body during the investigation also claimed that the accused secretary to the LG secretary has 21 different benami accounts and NAB investigators showed him the bank record and the chequebooks to this effect.

Opinion

Editorial

Digital growth
Updated 25 Apr, 2024

Digital growth

Democratising digital development will catalyse a rapid, if not immediate, improvement in human development indicators for the underserved segments of the Pakistani citizenry.
Nikah rights
25 Apr, 2024

Nikah rights

THE Supreme Court recently delivered a judgement championing the rights of women within a marriage. The ruling...
Campus crackdowns
25 Apr, 2024

Campus crackdowns

WHILE most Western governments have either been gladly facilitating Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza, or meekly...
Ties with Tehran
Updated 24 Apr, 2024

Ties with Tehran

Tomorrow, if ties between Washington and Beijing nosedive, and the US asks Pakistan to reconsider CPEC, will we comply?
Working together
24 Apr, 2024

Working together

PAKISTAN’S democracy seems adrift, and no one understands this better than our politicians. The system has gone...
Farmers’ anxiety
24 Apr, 2024

Farmers’ anxiety

WHEAT prices in Punjab have plummeted far below the minimum support price owing to a bumper harvest, reckless...