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MULTAN: The intelligence wing of the National Accountability Bureau is probing allegations of Rs7 million bribe which a bureau’s team received from a [main] suspect for closure of an inquiry.

According to official sources, the complaint has been lodged by a NAB officer who alleged that the bribe was taken to recommend closure of the inquiry.

As per details, Muhammad Aslam, a resident of Bahawalpur, lodged a complaint with the NAB against Tanveer Nusrat, district food controller of Rahim Yar Khan, and his family members while stating that the suspects accumulated assets beyond their known sources of income.

The plaint was presented in the [complaint] scrutiny meeting on Dec 21, 2017 and on Feb 16, 2018, the NAB regional board recommended to upgrade the complaint into inquiry.

Multan officials accused of receiving Rs7m from suspect for closure of inquiry

On March 29, Deputy Director Muhammad Shahid was made the case officer (CO) while Assistant Director Ali Arsalan Haidar, Haidar Ali Naz, Nuzair Hamid, Umar Hayat and Israr Chishti were investigation officers.

The sources said in regional board’s meeting held in July 2018, IO Ali Arslan recommended closure of the case while claiming that allegations are not provable; however one board member Additional Director Muhammad Ilyas Qamar opposed the recommendation and insisted on upgrading inquiry into investigation.

On July 26, Mr Qamar was made the CO and Muhammad Alim Liaqat took over as new IO of the case by replacing Ali Arslan Haidar.

Meanwhile, Mr Qamar lodged a complaint with the NAB chairman claiming that three persons [from the accused party] had visited the NAB regional office to record their protest for converting the inquiry into investigation as they alleged that they had paid Rs7 million to Additional Director Ahmed Mumtaz Bajwa through a ‘front man’ belonging to Sargodha. The [bribed] amount was returned to the accused party by the same front man. The main suspect was arrested after the Lahore High Court dismissed his pre-arrest bail on Jan 9.

They said Mr Qamar, who was transferred from Multan to the NAB Headquarters a couple of months back, lodged a complaint to the [NAB] chairman besides providing his recorded conversation with the party to the NAB intelligence wing.

During the NAB investigation, it was revealed that the main suspect who joined the provincial food department in 1984 as food grain inspector and currently serving as district food controller faced 20 departmental proceedings on different allegations during his entire service while recovery was made from him in five departmental inquiries, two times he was censured and reduced to lower pay scale in one inquiry.

It was disclosed that the suspect’s father owned only 44 kanal land and had no other independent source of income while his mother received grant of two quarters as needy/poor citizens of Pakistan from the UAE government in Abu Dhabi colony, Rahim Yar Khan.

It was stated that the suspect used to purchase assets in the name of his father Nusratullah and later got them transferred to his name while he owned 20 per cent shares in two flour mills namely Ali Shahbaz and Ahmad Shahbaz Flour Mills, Rahim Yar Khan, besides has two residential properties of one kanal each in Rahim Yar Khan.

The suspect also purchased 10 kanal land in the name of his son Taimoor Waqas besides spending Rs5 million (approximately) on the education of his children from 2011-2017. The main suspect has three wives and eight children.

It was stated that the suspect arranged fake/bogus foreign remittance entries in his account to legalise his ill-gotten money and for the purpose he had laundered money through two UAE-based companies in his own and father’s account. His father also purchased a one kanal residential property in Valancia Town, Lahore.

During the investigations, the suspect and his father failed to justify the purchase of assets from their known sources of income while bank record analysis shows heavy transactions in his account.

The report said main suspect Tanveer Nusrat produced bogus/fake documents in his defence to dodge the process of investigation.

Sources said the team recorded the statements of suspects and tasked the NAB Multan intelligence wing with tracing the front man who disappeared from his house since the probe was initiated.

Mr Bajwa, who was in Lahore to attend senior management course from Feb 26, 2018 to June 15, 2018, said he had nothing to do with the case and the allegations against him were baseless. To a question, he said inquiry was under way.

NAB spokesman Nawazish Ali Asim said the complaint was received.

“The inquiry will be initiated after the due process of law on the outcome of initial scrutiny. The NAB under the dynamic leadership of worthy Chairman retired Javed Iqbal strongly believes in accountability for all and for self-accountability,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019