LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Friday arrested two more suspects in the Rs14 billion Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Society scam.

According to officials, NAB arrested Munir Zia and Umer Zia, brothers of chief executive of Paragon City Nadim Zia. Nadim has reportedly fled the country to evade arrest.

The officials said the suspects were also business partners in Bismillah Engineering Services that was engaged in the construction of low-cost housing scheme of the Punjab government in January 2015.

Former Lahore Development Authority director general Ahad Cheema has been in NAB’s custody for about three months for allegedly misusing his authority and getting approved a fraudulent and illegal request by awarding contract of the Rs14bn Ashiyana housing scheme.

The Punjab Land Development Company had signed an agreement with Bismillah Engineering and Sparco for the construction of 6,700 apartments on 1,000 kanal. In lieu of this construction, some 2,000 kanals were to be given to these two companies corresponding to their construction work. The land was given to these companies without them having carried out construction work at all.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also appeared before NAB in this case for awarding the contract in violation of rules.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2018

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