ISLAMABAD, July 31: The National Accountability Bureau has approved a reference against an employee of the Pakistani consulate in Houston for his alleged involvement in a case of bogus passports.

The approval was given at a meeting of NAB’s executive board presided over by the bureau’s chairman Nawid Ahsan.

A NAB press release issued here on Thursday accused Mohammad Naeem of being involved in a case of issuing fake passports. The accused, who worked as an assistant in the consulate, was authorised to sign passports issued on applications about theft or loss of passports or for renewal.

On a complaint of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an investigation was ordered.

Naeem was responsible for receiving application forms and money orders for the specified fees for various services like renewing passports and issuing new books in case of lost or stolen passports.

The investigation revealed that the accused misused his authority and issued fake passports to a large number of people.

The accused, in cooperation with Pakistani travel agent Muhammad Imran Lalpuri, issued 300 passports after accepting fake and incomplete documents. He was arrested on March 25 and is in judicial custody.

The press release said that the evidence of the alleged involvement of consulate official Ghulam Rasool Baloch and Mohammad Imran Lalpuri and people obtaining passports on the basis of false documents was being collected.

The meeting also approved a reference against Zia Rashid, former chairman of Orient Industrial Society Ltd (OICSL), and 11 others.