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NAB arrests 3 suspects linked to Nooriabad power project over 'misappropriation, money laundering'

Updated May 22, 2019

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The arrests were made by a NAB joint investigation team which is probing 16 cases against top PPP leadership and their business partners pertaining to a range of corrupt practices. ─ Reuters/File
The arrests were made by a NAB joint investigation team which is probing 16 cases against top PPP leadership and their business partners pertaining to a range of corrupt practices. ─ Reuters/File

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested three suspects from Karachi involved in alleged misappropriation and money laundering in connection with the Nooriabad power project.

The suspects, who were arrested a day earlier, include Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Chairman Khursheed Jamali, CEO M/S Technomen Kinetic Pvt Ltd Syed Asif Mahmood and Director Nooriabad Power Company Syed Arif Ali.

The arrests were made during an inquiry into public office holders, legal persons and others involved in the fake bank accounts case, the statement said. A NAB joint investigation team is probing 16 cases against top PPP leadership and their business partners pertaining to a range of corrupt practices, bureau sources told Dawn.

NAB stated that the suspects been taken into custody for extending illegal favours to M/S Technomen Kinetic Pvt Ltd and others in projects of Sindh Nooriabad Power Company and Sindh Transmission & Dispatch Company (STDC), and causing a $16 million loss to the national exchequer.

NAB sources clarified that the arrests were linked to the Nooriabad power project, not the Thar Coal power project.

The Nooriabad power project was originally conceived by the Sindh government in 2012, but could not be materialised then due to 'red-tapism and delays in regulatory approvals', then adviser to the chief minister on finance and energy, Syed Murad Shah had said.

The project was finally launched in Aug 2014 under a public-private partnership at a cost of Rs13bn in which the Sindh government held 49 per cent shares and a private company owned 51pc. A 95km long, 132kV double-circuit transmission line was laid from Nooriabad to Karachi at a cost of Rs1.95bn.

SECMC Chairman Jamali, who was then director Sindh Nooriabad Power Company Ltd, said in 2017 that the plant would use gas to produce 100MW of power at less than Rs10 per unit, as compared to the Rs15 per unit charged by the Water and Power Development Authority.

Earlier this year, the Sindh cabinet was informed that the power plant had earned Rs6.62bn profit.

NAB obtained the suspects' transit remand for from an administrative judge in Karachi until May 25.

With additional reporting by Naeem Sahoutara.