NAB court confirms freezing Mandviwala’s assets

Published November 26, 2020
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala. — Dawn/File
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday issued a written order confirming the report filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on freezing the ‘properties’ of Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala.

Mr Mandviwala, on the other hand has moved privilege motions in the Senate against NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, NAB Director General (Rawalpindi) Irfan Naeem Mangi, the investigating officer, the registrar and deputy registrar of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for dragging him in the fake accounts case.

He said in the privilege motion that they “maliciously and wrongfully accused the moving Senator in an unrelated investigation without establishing any credible link between the alleged wrongdoings and the undersigned [Mandviwala].”

It said: “This is brazen attempt by NAB to obstruct, harass and intimidate me from performing duty as a member and Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan.”

It has sought from the upper house to call for evidence and legal basis for the accusations in a case where no clear link can be established between Mr Mandviwala and any illegal activity.

“The NAB does not have a licence to malign and defame my name and being called as accused Saleem Mandviwala to intimidate and obstruct me from the discharge of my duties as Senator,” it added.

The bureau, a day earlier submitted a report stating that former chairman of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) “Aijaz Haroon and Saleem Mandviwala, in connivance with each other, embezzled the government land through illegal and fraudulent allotment and received illegal and unlawful gains of Rs144.2 million from fake bank accounts namely A-One International and Lucky International under the garb of business deal or property transaction with Abdul Ghani Majeed, chief executive officer Omni Group.”

It stated that the proceeding further revealed that the purported property and business deal was coordinated by the accused using his brother Nadeem Mandviwala’s company (Mandviwala Builders and Developers) and received Rs64.2 million out of Rs144.2 million, adding, the same was misappropriated through purchase of a trust called Dawat-i-Hadayyah Karachi by the accused.

Mr Mandviwala purchased 3.1 million shares of Mangla View Resort in the name of an employee Tariq Mehmood, the report alleges, adding: “The substantial evidence is available with the prosecution to believe that the accused has committed the offence under section 9[a] of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 therefore, the competent authority vide order issued on Nov 11, 2020 has frozen the benami shareholding of accused Saleem Mandviwala under section 12 [b][iv] of NAO.”

The investigating officer of NAB, Assistant Director Mudasar Hussain testifying before the court, said that both Haroon and Mandviwala embezzled government land through fraudulent allotment of plots of Overseas Cooperative Housing Society (Kidney Hill Karachi). He also expressed apprehensions that Mr Mandviwala may dispose of the shares.

Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir said that the statement of the investigating officer is self explanatory as to why freezing order passed by DG NAB should be confirmed under the circumstances of the case.

Meanwhile, during the hearing of fake accounts case, the accountability court exempted former president Asif Ali Zardari from personal appearance in three references related to Park Lane, Thattha Water Supply and mega money laundering.

The court recorded the statements of two witnesses in the Thattha Water Supply reference and has adjourned further proceeding till Dec 2. The hearing for the Park Lane reference and mega money laundering has been adjourned till Dec 2 and Dec 3.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2020

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