Assets beyond means: Another reference filed against Ahad Cheema

Published October 19, 2018
Former LDA DG Ahad Cheema. ─ File photo
Former LDA DG Ahad Cheema. ─ File photo

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed another reference against Lahore Development Authority (LDA) former director general Ahad Khan Cheema in an accountability court here for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

According to NAB, Mr Cheema had made property worth billions of rupees in the name of his family members. It said the suspect and his family members owned over 300 kanals of agriculture land in Hafizabad, over 190 kanals in Lahore, a flat in Hill View, Islamabad, two plots in FIA Employees Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad, two flats and plots in Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, Islamabad, a 10-marla plot in Faisal Town, Islamabad, two five-marla plots in Faisal Residencia Islamabad and a three-kanal plot on Bedian Road, Lahore.

In June, NAB had filed a reference against Mr Cheema and five others over their alleged role in Ashiana Housing Scheme scam.

The five others were Bismillah Engineering Company owner Shahid Shafiq, LDA chief engineer Israr Saeed, Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) chief engineer retired Col Arif Majeed, former PLDC chief executive officer Imtiaz Haider and PLDC official Bilal Kidwai.

In the Ashiana reference, Mr Cheema was accused of causing a loss of Rs660m to the national exchequer. The project cost ballooned to Rs3.4bn while 61,000 people who had applied for plots in the project suffered, NAB alleged.

Ahad Cheema was arrested in February over charges of misusing his authority and, with criminal intent, processing and awarding Ashiana scheme project contract worth Rs14bn to the Lahore Casa Developers, a joint venture firm that was ineligible for the same. The contract, in connivance with other suspects, was awarded in violation of rules.

Cheema is in jail on judicial remand.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018

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