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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi recovered Rs490 million from the management of a private housing society - Askaria Town - and distributed cheques amounting to Rs138 million among 4,200 people who had invested in the housing scheme launched 15 years ago.

Speaking at a cheque distribution ceremony, NAB Rawalpindi Director General Irfan Naeem Mangi reiterated that the bureau would continue to pursue corrupt elements.

NAB strongly believes in the zero tolerance policy against corruption. NAB hopes that joint efforts of all stakeholders can collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with the help of all stakeholders, he added.

Urging people not to invest in fake housing projects, the official said the practice to invest in unauthorised schemes in greed of more interest and returns on investments must be discouraged.

The management of Askaria Town had illegally collected Rs490.585 million from the citizens without obtaining permission from Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to launch the scheme.

It also did not obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from RDA for its layout plan.

Earlier, NAB had arrested some top officials of the housing society ignoring a retired army officer who was also a part of the management of the society. However, they were released on bail.

Later, the management of the society submitted an application for plea bargain. NAB accepted the plea bargain deal of Rs490.585 million. The amount is being returned to the affected people in phases.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2019