LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau’s Lahore office has summoned PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif in the Saaf Pani Company scam on June 4 after Punjab Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus-Pasha and PML-N MPA Waheed Gul appeared to record their statements on Wednesday.

Earlier, Shahbaz Sharif had appeared before NAB for alleged misuse of authority in the award of a contract in the Rs14 billion Ashiyana Housing scam and recorded his statement.

The timing of Shahbaz Sharif’s summons (June 4) is significant as the PML-N government’s tenure is expiring on May 31. “The notice has asked Shahbaz Sharif to appear before a combined investigation team of NAB Lahore in connection with the affairs of the Saaf Pani Company,” an official source told Dawn.

Minister, MPA record their statements

On Wednesday, NAB’s combined investigation team quizzed both Ms Ayesha and Mr Gul for more than two hours over the affairs of the company. “Both the minister and the MPA remained part of the Board of Directors of the Saaf Pani Company when illegalities were committed,” the source said.

A NAB official had earlier told Dawn that the Punjab government was not submitting the record of the Saaf Pani Company to it because Shahbaz Sharif was accused of violating the PPRA rules in award of contracts. “ACE had lodged an FIR against a former CEO of Saaf Pani Company. Why it had not included the name of the chief minister who approved direct contracting of the project without providing a level playing field to other companies and violated the PPRA rules?” he asked.

NAB in November last had launched a thorough probe into the affairs of the 56 public-sector companies formed by Shahbaz Sharif administration in Punjab for their alleged involvement in corruption. These companies are accused of certain irregularities, recruitment in violation of procurement rules and merit, nepotism, and non-completion of various projects in time.

There has been a lack of performance and regular audit and non-transparent procedure of tendering in these companies which come under direct supervision of CM Shahbaz.

ARREST: NAB on Wednesday arrested a stockist in the M/s Munafa Network Marketing (MNM) scam.

According to NAB, it arrested Sarwar Khan at the Sialkot airport. It said the suspect had been working as ‘mega stockist’ of Jhang and Bhakkar where around 30 junior stockists from surrounding areas used to submit all money allegedly collected from people through cheating and defrauding them by luring them to provide motorbikes on cheap investment worth Rs25,000 only.

The NAB said the owner of MNM Motorcycle scam suspect Ahmed Sayal got registered his Multi-level Marketing (MLM) Firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in 2017 and started his business of import and export of spare parts. The SECP referred the case of treachery to the FIA and it was later transferred to NAB Lahore in 2017 keeping in view the magnitude of the embezzlement.

It said NAB had so far arrested five suspects.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2018

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