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LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore has registered an FIR against a certain contractors’ firm for misappropriation of funds in a project of the Pakistan Cricket Board while not giving a clean chit to the PCB officials in the case.

“A case has been registered against the Ever-shine contractors and those who presented a fake bank guarantee in the PCB for the construction of the Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Stadium in Larkana under sections 406, 420, 468 and 471 of the Pakistan Penal Code. During investigation, fraud/forgery has been established against the management of the Ever-shine contractors,” an FIA official told Dawn on Thursday.

“The role of PCB officials regarding the loss to the government exchequer in the construction of bio-mechanical laboratory at the Gaddafi Stadium, excess payment (mobilisation cost) made to the contractor M/S Rare Builders in the Cricket Academy in Multan, fudge payment made to M/S Mecto in the construction of Far End Pavilion at Gaddafi Stadium will be determined during the further course of investigation,” he said.

To a question as to why the role of PCB officials in the matter couldn’t be determined as yet, the FIA official said: “No clean chit has been given to any official of the PCB allegedly involved in the scam and action against them will be taken in the light of further investigation. The technical team at the FIA headquarters will determine the loss to the exchequer caused by the PCB officials.”

The FIA had launched investigation into the alleged wrongdoings during the establishment of a bio-mechanical laboratory at Gaddafi Stadium and construction of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Stadium in Larkana, Cricket Academy in Multan and Far End Pavilion at the Gaddafi Stadium about two years ago.

The FIA had detected a Rs8.6 million fake bank guarantee furnished by a contractor and Rs5.6m illegal payment made to another contractor in two separate projects.

The FIA said the installation of the bio-mechanical laboratory project had been delayed for an indefinite period. The contractor firm had accused PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad of not providing electric drawing and not releasing payments as per agreement. The board had denied the accusations, saying one of its officials involved in wrongdoings had been sacked.

In the Cricket Academy project, the FIA probe had found out that the PCB dealt with the mobilisation cost (Rs5.6m) separately from the bidding amount and paid it to the contractor. “This is illegal and it was not possible without the collusion of both parties — the PCB and the contractor,” the FIA official observed.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2018