Plea Bargain Only Option To Get Back Public Money From Corrupt: DG NAB

Plea bargain only option to get back public money from corrupt: DG NAB

QUETTA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 23rd Dec, 2016 ) : Director General of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Balochistan Major (R) Tariq Mehmood Malik Friday said plea bargain (PB) was the only option to get back the looted money of the people of Balochistan from accused of the mega corruption case. "Through PB, NAB has been able to recover approximately Rs 3 billion against Rs 2.24 billion embezzled in Balochistan mega corruption scam," he said in a statement.

The NAB, he said, made a history by recovering Rs 3 billion. The recovered amount would be handed over to the Balochistan government enabling it to spend it on the welfare of the people of Balochsitan. "The amount misappropriated from the local government funds was meant for the uplift projects of Balochsitan and as per law and plea bargain was the only speediest option to take back this money from the accused paving way for the government to spend this money on the welfare of the people of Balochistan.

" Refuting media reports about the volume of amount involved in the mega corruption case, the DG NAB clarified that an amount of Rs 6 billion was allocated in budget for the year 2015-16 as grant-in-aid to the local councils for salary, non-salary expenditure and development of local councils. He said the NAB received an information that local government funds were being deviated in huge quantities to some specific Constituencies and were being embezzled.

An inquiry was initiated in May 2016 on M.C Mach and Khaliqabad during which it was established that an amount of Rs 2.31 billion had been released to both committees, he added. When physical trail of the amount released was conducted, he said it transpired that entire amount had been credited into six bank accounts of contractors, whereas on ground there was no physical expenditure/project. Further investigation, he said, revealed that the amount was being released directly on the request of administrator to Secretary Finance and Advisor Finance bypassing the Local Government Department.

After scrutiny of all records, he said ground check of the area was conducted which revealed that an amount of Rs 2.24 billion had been embezzled. The trail of the six bank accounts further revealed that the amount was being used for purchase of the 11 properties which was later surrendered to NAB by the benamirdaar account holders. The value of surrendered property stood about 1 billion. During further investigation, it was established that money was also transferred to 26 accounts of Contractor Sohail Shah which was established as kickbacks and commission.

During inquiry the accused applied for Voluntary Return which was rejected by the NAB. However, the NAB collected irrefutable evidence against the accused in the case. Later the NAB accepted the PB request of accused Mustaq Raisani and Sohail Majeed Shah after they admitted their crime. Liability of Rs 960 million was established against Contractor Sohail Majeed Shah that included all the gains he took during said period. Moreover, during a raid at the house of former Secretary Finance, Rs 650 million was confiscated along with 3.

7 kg gold ornaments. During the investigation properties each at Quetta and DHA Karachi and three vehicles were unearthed in the name of benamidaars which were later surrendered by the accused in Plea Bargain. He applied for Plea Bargain of all assets, which surfaced during the course of investigation. The Plea Bargain was approved in the Executive board Meeting of NAB. The main reason for approval of Plea Bargain was that it is the speediest way for getting back the funds, which were embezzled and same, could be available to Balochistan Government for current financial year.

It would further strengthen case against remaining accused. It may be mentioned that after final approval of Plea Bargain of accused by the court, the accused Sohail Majeed Shah and Mushtaq Raisani would deemed to be convicted and would not hold public office, obtain loan from banks and contracts for ten years. They would also not be eligible to contest election for the period of ten years. The case has not been closed as reference against former advisor to CM on Finance Khalid Lango and others would be filed very soon, the DG NAB said.