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NAB approves inquiries against Siraj, Wasim

NAB approves inquiries against Siraj, Wasim

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday approved several high profile inquiries, including against Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar over various allegations of corruption.

According to a press release issued by the bureau, the inquiries were authorised by NAB’s regional board, which had met in Karachi with NAB Karachi Director General Mohammad Altaf Bawany in the chair. In attendance at the meeting were directors of NAB investigation wings and respective investigating teams of concerned cases. The board said it had authorised an inquiry against Karachi Mayor Akhtar and other officers of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) upon verification of a complaint against them.

The complaint against Akhtar and other KMC officials, which has been verified prima facie, is that they allegedly did not carry out work in Karachi despite being allocated an amount of Rs36 billion and given subsequent releases between 2015 and 2018, the press release stated.

Upon verification of a separate complaint, the board also sanctioned three separate inquiries against Sindh Assembly Speaker and PPP leader Durrani.

The first inquiry pertains to an allegation of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income by Durrani; the second relates to 352 illegal appointments made by him; and the third pertains to embezzlement of funds for the construction of the MPA Hostel and construction of the new Sindh Assembly building, as well as in the appointment of project directors for the said projects.

“The recommendation [to initiate the inquiries] was made to the competent authority on the basis of exhaustive verification of complaints,” the statement read.

The NAB regional board greenlighted another inquiry against the director general of the Sindh Building Control Authority, Iftikhar Qaimkhani, for allegedly accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income. A preliminary probe against him was conducted on the basis of a tip-off made in a raid conducted recently.

The bureau also authorised an investigation against Senior Superintendent of Police Pir Fareed Jan Sarhandi upon completion of an inquiry against him over allegations of illegal recruitment of 378 constables. The inquiry was initiated on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Another inquiry was authorised against Managing Director and other officers of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE) Karachi on the allegations of illegal allotments of plots of SITE particularly on Super Highway.

An inquiry was authorised against management and owners of M/s Pride Builders & Developers which is one of the allied companies of Rafi Builders and Developers. Inquiry was authorised on the allegations of cheating public at large for booking of more than 1,600 residential and commercial plots valuing more than Rs 5,400 million (approx) in the names of several allottees.  However, the building licence and NOC was cancelled by Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), despite Athat, they continued to develop and book the plots.

At the end of the meeting, DG NAB Karachi Altaf Bawany appreciated the performance of NAB’s Complaint Verification Cell, “particularly for efforts of officers in unearthing major offences prima facie established.”