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NAB to file reference against Ahad Cheema

NAB to file reference against Ahad Cheema

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has decided to file a reference against former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Khan Cheema for possessing assets worth Rs700 million beyond his known sources of income.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NAB regional board presided over by Shehzad Saleem here on Friday.

According to a spokesman, the board authorised the filing of a reference against Cheema for possessing assets worth Rs700m beyond his known sources of income. He said the board also approved investigation against former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hasan Fawad.

In June, the NAB had filed a reference against Cheema and five others over their alleged role in Ashiyana Housing Scheme scam. The five others included Bismillah Engineering Company owner Shahid Shafiq, LDA chief engineer Israr Saeed, Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) chief engineer retired Col Arif Majeed, former PLDC chief executive officer Imtiaz Haider and PLDC official Bilal Qudwai.

The NAB filed the reference against the suspects under Section 18(g) of the NAO 1999.

According to the reference, Ahad Cheema caused a loss of Rs660 million to the national exchequer in the Ashiyana scam. The project cost ballooned to Rs3.4 billion, while 61,000 people who had applied for plots in the project suffered.

Cheema was arrested in February over charges of misusing his authority and, with criminal intent, processing and awarding Ashiyana-i-lqbal project contract worth Rs14bn to Lahore Casa Developers, a joint venture firm that was ineligible for the same.

The contract, in connivance with other suspects, was awarded in violation of rules. Cheema allegedly received illegal gratification in the form of 32 kanal (valuing at Rs30m approximately) from the owners of Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd. Cheema is in jail on judicial remand.