* PML-N leaders accused of embezzling Rs 65m in commissions against bogus development schemes in Faisalabad
Aaj Kal Report
LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Faisalabad parliamentarian Abid Sher Ali have been named in a financial scam regarding the receipt of commissions of around Rs 65 million from contractors working on bogus projects in Faisalabad.
The joint investigations conducted by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) and the Chief Minister’s Secretariat have revealed that Rs 65 million were withdrawn by Sanaullah and Sher Ali from fake projects.
It was discovered that over Rs 50 million were withdrawn against 11 incomplete projects and four bogus schemes.
The ACE has already booked the town municipal officer of Faisalabad’s Iqbal Town besides six officers and five contractors for their involvement in the scam.
On the receipt of a written complaint by Muhammad Iqbal Bajwa, Punjab ACE Director General Kazim Ali Malik asked the director of Faisalabad ACE to probe into the matter along with the district commissioner.
One of the contractors, Nasir Butt, was arrested by ACE, however, Sher Ali got him released from official custody from outside the commissioner’s office, saying ACE had dealt with the case on political grounds, forcing him to intervene in the matter.
Transfers: According to the bank record, the first instalment of $10,000 was transferred to Sanaullah’s account in the National Bank of Pakistan Rehman Plaza Branch, Lahore, from Canada on April 17, 2007.
The second instalment of $10,000 was transferred on June 20, 2008. One of the contractors accused Sanaullah of receiving $15,000 as commission for the award of various development projects. In addition, the law minister received Rs 500,000 for which the contractor said he had “documentary evidence”. Sanaullah, however, has denied receiving the money. Sher Ali also denied allegations of receiving Rs 20 million in commission.
Also, the administrator of the Faisalabad Iqbal Town has registered a case against an MNA for allegedly removing the record of more than 500 development projects worth over Rs 1 billion.
Police, however, have not recovered any missing documents. Most of the files belong to bogus projects that have been stolen for fear of investigation by ACE. ACE DG Kazim Ali Malik told Daily Times that a sum of Rs 32.5 million had been withdrawn from the treasury against 11 incomplete projects and the use of substandard material in the ongoing schemes was also detected during the investigation.
He said Rs 31.9 million had been embezzled by Nasir Butt and others, adding that technical inspection revealed that less than Rs 10 million were spent on the 11 projects. Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Punjab said the law minister should resign following documentary evidence of him receiving $15,000 in kickbacks.
The spokesman urged the Punjab chief minister to act without any discrimination.