LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Tuesday returned Rs169.68 million to 1,474 affectees of the Double Shah scam after recovering the amount from the fraudster.
The recovered amount was returned to the affectees at a ceremony held at the NAB’s Thokar Niaz Beg office here.
According to the NAB, it was the third phase of the returning of the recovered money to the affectees of the scam. It said the bureau had so far distributed Rs1.2 billion among 6,490 affectees of the scam.
On the occasion, NAB Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem said the Double Shah (Sibtul Hasan Shah) was known for defrauding the public with the promise of multiplying their principal amounts.
“People were fooled by such fraudsters as they invested their amount with them and later regretted,” he said.
Talking about the fraud in housing sector, Mr Saleem said according to the list presented before the Supreme Court, 70 per cent housing societies were found to be illegal.
He said in the housing sector, NAB Lahore received over 64,00 complaints and had returned the whole amounts to the 3,249 victims so far.
He said only NAB Lahore chapter had recovered more than Rs4bn this year in different scams.
He said the NAB reached a plea-bargain (PB) of Rs2bn in the Ferozepur City scam.
“NAB Lahore has confiscated property worth over Rs3bn from a suspect, Farhan Cheema, in the Model Housing Enclave scam,” he added.
In the Pak-Arab Housing Society, the director general said, within six months the scheme administration would have to give plots worth Rs18bn to the affectees.
Similarly, he said, the Elite Town affectees had been returned Rs360 million by the NAB Lahore so far. He said the bureau had also ensured handing over of the plots and houses to the affectees in Khayaban-e-Amin Housing Society worth over Rs4bn and directed its administration to give the remaining plots and houses to the owners by Dec 31.
The NAB said the conviction rate of the cases with the bureau was 78 percent as compared to less than five per cent in the matters handled by police and other investigation agencies.
A NAB official seeking anonymity, questioned the government’s move to change the NAB rules.
“Why not rules of the Federal Investigation Agency, Police, Anti-Corruption Establishment are changed despite low conviction rate,” he asked.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018