Former Pepco boss faces NAB reference over $10,000 bribe

Published June 29, 2021
Earlier, NAB had filed an interim reference in the Karkey case in 2014. — Reuters/File
Earlier, NAB had filed an interim reference in the Karkey case in 2014. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Account­ability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a supplementary reference in the Turkish rental power plant case, nominating former managing director of Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) Rasul Khan Mahsud for allegedly taking $10,000 in bribe from the company.

The other accused in the Karkey reference are former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former federal secretary Ismail Qureshi, former MDs of Pepco Fazal Ahmed Khan and Tahir Basharat Cheema, former MDs of Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Fayyaz Elahi and N.A. Zuberi, former directors of Pepco and PPIB and former chief executive officer of Lakhra Power Plant Hafeezur Rehman.

Earlier, NAB had filed an interim reference in the Karkey case in 2014.

In 2009, a Turkish plant was brought to Karachi Port to provide electricity under RPP policy

The Turkish company had set up the rental power plant in Pakistan which became the subject of intense judicial intervention.

The company then went into international arbitration.

The amount that was awarded to Karkey by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was $1.2 billion. The disputed amount was settled through the government’s intervention.

The supplementary reference was filed in the accountability court of Islamabad after the above-mentioned $1.2bn settlement, the bureau stated in the court.

NAB has secured fresh evidence in the light of the settlement according to which Rasul Khan Mahsud is not only accused of pressurising his subordinates for extending favours to the private company but also making a forged certificate of commercial operations.

The bureau pointed out that two accused — Anwar Barohi, former CEO of Lakhra Power Plant, and Rana Amjad, former general manager of Multan Power Project, had already signed a plea bargain with NAB.

NAB has annexed 14 additional evidences with the supplementary reference.

The Karkey plant was brought to Karachi Port to provide electricity to the national grid in 2009 under the then government’s rental power projects (RPP) policy to overcome the energy crisis.

As per the interim reference, NAB said that it had to recover $120 million from Karkey in the Rs22bn RPP case. Nine companies, including Karkey, are accused of taking advance payment from the government for installing 12 power plants in 2008, but they failed to provide electricity within the stipulated time, causing huge losses to the national exchequer.

The Supreme Court had directed NAB to recover the amount from the nine firms. The previous PPP government had agreed to send two of the four Turkish ships, but they could not leave for Turkey after the Supreme Court intervened in the case.

The PPP government had in 2009 awarded the contract to nine RPP firms (both local and international) to provide electricity, but it had to be wrapped up after allegations of kickbacks and commission taken by PPP leaders.

Karkey is accused of obtaining $79m (Rs7.55bn) as mobilisation advance from the government for supplying 232MW under the RPP policy to overcome the power crisis.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2021

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