Court summons 25 suspects in Reko Diq reference on 18th

Published November 6, 2020
The Reko Diq area in south west of Balochistan is famous for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper. — Courtesy Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan/File
The Reko Diq area in south west of Balochistan is famous for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper. — Courtesy Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan/File

QUETTA: The Accountability Court of Quetta on Thursday admitted for hearing the Reko Diq copper-cum-gold project reference against 25 people, including former officials of the Balochistan government and multinational companies, for allegedly causing a loss of billions of rupees to the exchequer.

Accountability Court Judge Munawar Ahmed Shahwani issued notices to 25 suspects directing them to appear before the court on Nov 18.

Earlier former governor of Balochistan retired Justice Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal was also nominated in the reference by NAB but later his name was removed due to lack of evidence against him.

The suspects include Mohammad Farooq, former chairman of the Balochistan Development Authority (BDA); Mohammad Tahir, former AGM of mines department; Maqbool Ahmed, former secretary of mines department; Sheikh Azmatullah, former secretary of the Balochistan Board of Revenue (BBR), Shahbaz Khan Mandokhail, senior member, BBR; Kulay Bakhsh Rind, former chief secretary of Balochistan; Masood Ahmed Malik, former AGM, planning, BDA; Habibullah Baloch, engineer; Col (retd) Sher Khan, Captain (retd) Fareed Uddin, Atta Muhammad Jaffar and Amir Ali Burq.

Besides, Bari Dad, former administration officer, Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (TCCP); Muslim Lakhani, director, TCCP; Christopher Robert Bromley Fort, manager exploration, BHP Minerals; John P. Schroeder, CEO/programme manager, BHP Minerals; Chris Arndt of BHP Minerals, David Charles, director TCCP; Timothy James Hargreaves, Jose Eduaro Flores, Hugh R. James, Catherine Jean Boggs and Peter a Jrzek are also among the suspects.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the reference in the court on Wednesday.

According to the NAB authorities, contrary to national interests, the mining concession rules were amended to provide benefits to the TCC. Through sub-agreements, the former government officials provided benefit of billions of rupees to the TCC. The officials of the revenue department also provided benefits to the company in terms of land allotments to get personal benefits.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020

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