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KARACHI: An accountability court on Wednesday issued warrants for arrest of three suspects absconding in a graft case.

Eight suspects — Ramzan Solangi, Javed Qamar, Qamaruddin Sheikh, Syed Gulab Khan, Muhammad Arif, Abdul Rasheed and Muhammad Anwar Kumbhar — have been booked in a reference pertaining to alleged misuse of official authority and corruption.

The Accountability Court-IV Judge, Fareed Anwar Qazi, directed the investigation officer of the National Accountability Bureau to arrest and produce the suspects on Oct 1.

On Saturday, the IO submitted a progress report, stating that three suspects nominated in the reference, Syed Gulab Khan, Iqbal Hussain and Muhammad Arif, were still absconding.

He mentioned that four suspects — Abdul Rasheed Khan, the personal secretary to the then provincial secretary for the local government department, Muhammad Javaid Qamar, the alleged front man of a former district administrator, Muhammad Anwar Kumbhar, the ex-director of the District Municipal Corporation (Malir) and Ramzan Solangi were currently in judicial custody. The eighth suspect Qamaruddin, a senior director of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, was currently on bail, he added.

The investigation officer stated that an inquiry was initiated and converted into investigation against former administrator of Orangi Town Qamaruddin Sheikh and others regarding their alleged involvement in availing illegal pecuniary gains through corruption and corrupt practices with connivance of each other.

The investigation revealed that Sheikh, currently a senior director (Land Record) of the KMC, unlawfully and fraudulently got appointed as Assistant Land Management Officer in the BPS-16 in the Hyderabad District Municipal Corporation without applying against any published post, it added.

The report mentioned that the probe further revealed that Sheikh also managed his date of birth to enhance the period of his service by nine years with the help and collusion of the then Nadra employees — Muhammad Ilyas Arain (supervisor) and Asghar Ali Bhutto (operator). Both the Nadra employees have passed away.

It claimed that the suspect Syed Gulab Khan, the alleged frontman of Qamaruddin Sheikh, illegally obtained contract of supplying 178 fumigation machines worth Rs26.70 million, causing a loss of Rs19.58 million to the national exchequer.

The federal anti-graft watchdog further mentioned that the suspect Iqbal Hussain helped Khan in getting other contractors contracts without open competitive bidding, causing losses worth Rs118.058 million, it added.

It claimed that the suspect Muhammad Javaid Qamar with the connivance of Qamaruddin got illegally elevated from the BPS-11 to BPS-18 without recommendation of a properly constituted departmental promotion committee without seeking approval from the competent authority.

He caused losses to the tune of Rs46.664 million to the national coffers through phony, flying and bogus invoices, it mentioned.

NAB officials recovered unexplained cash, including Rs18.391 million, Saudi Riyals 300, Dirhams 2,610 and US Dollars 500 from his residence, the report stated, adding that Qamar also received illegal gains of Rs750,000 per month for himself and his boss, the (then) secretary of provincial local government department, it added.

The report mentioned that cash Rs33,257,250, Saudi Riyals 45,938, US Dollars 800, 10 tolas of gold and other ornaments were also recovered from the residence of the suspect Muhammad Ramzan Solangi.

Besides receiving monthly bribe, Solangi also allegedly kept on withdrawing corruption proceeds from the funds of the Karachi’s District Municipal Corporation (West) on fake invoices/bills in the name of the M/s South Electric and Electronics, causing losses to the national exchequer, the report mentioned. It mentioned that Solangi’s case regarding assets was to be dealt separately.

The IO said the suspect Muhammad Arif was found to be a beneficiary of the illegal pecuniary gains, availing ownership of a bungalow No. C-38 in the Block-3 of the Gulistan-i-Johar, which actually was owned by Qamaruddin and Arif failed to adduce any plausible and convicting justification regarding finances of the bungalow from his hard-earned money.

The IO also filed an amended title of the reference, submitting that two other suspects Abdul Rasheed Khan, the personal secretary to the former LG secretary, and Muhammad Anwar Kumbhar, ex-director of the District Municipal Corporation Malir were also arrested and remanded by the court in judicial custody, but he could not mention their names in the reference due to the process of filing the reference expeditiously within 90 days.

He maintained that he had no intention of hiding the issuance of arrest warrants for both the suspects, who were currently in judicial custody and pleaded to accept the amended title.

The AC-IV judge issued arrest warrants for the three fleeing suspects and adjourned hearing till October 1 to hear arguments on the IO’s plea for accepting the amended title of the reference.

Naqeeb murder case hearing deferred

The hearing of a case pertaining to the killing of Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud and three others in a ‘staged’ encounter was put off till Oct 11, as the judge of the antiterrorism court-II was on leave on Tuesday.

Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with their 10 absconding subordinates have been booked in a case for foisting pistols and grenades on Naqeeb and three others after killing them in a staged shoot-out in Shah Latif Town on Jan 13.

The matter was fixed before the ATC-II, but the same could not be taken up since the judge was on leave. Therefore, the next hearing was fixed for Oct 11.

Rao Anwar’s plea for quashment of the case pertaining to alleged foisting of the explosives and arms on the victims could also not be taken up.

Earlier, Rao Anwar was present in court along with detained policemen Ahmed, ASI Allahyar, head constables Muhammad Iqbal, Khizar Hayat, constable Arshad Ali, sub-inspector Muhammad Yasin, constables Ghulam Nazik, Adul Ali, Shafiq Ahmed and Shakil Feroze.

Meanwhile, investigating officer SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed submitted a report regarding execution of non-bailable warrants for the arrest of around 12 absconding police officials issued.

In his report, the IO submitted that absconding accused, including former SHO Amanullah Marwat and Shoaib alias Shooter, had gone into hiding as the case had been highlighted in the media. However, he maintained that efforts were still underway to arrest them.

Earlier, the court had re-issued warrants for arrest of more than 12 absconding suspects, including former SHO Marwat, Shoaib Shooter, former ASIs Anar Khan, Gada Hussain, former HCs Mohsib Abbas, Sadaqat Hussain Shah, Faisal, Raja Shamim Mukhtar and Rana Riaz.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2018