As many as five officials of PSO and Byco allegedly involved in illegal petroleum trade have been arrested in a series of raids conducted across the country, officials of the Karachi chapter of the National Accountability Bureau Bureau (NAB) claimed on Saturday.
These suspects, accused of causing a cumulative loss of Rs63.687 billion, were arrested from Karachi, Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Five more accused were arrested from Karachi suspected of being involved in a cooperative society scam.
Former general manager for supply at PSO Akhter Zameer, former chief operating officer (COO) of Byco Pakistan Petroleum Ltd Kamran Iftikhar Lari, and former Byco Pakistan refineries president Qaiser Jamal were arrested from Karachi, while former PSO retail and consumer business general manager Zulfiqar Ali Jaffery was arrested from Islamabad. Dr Nazar A Zaidi, a former senior general manager of marketing for PSO, was arrested from Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The NAB spokesperson maintained that the accused had connived in awarding illegal contracts of crude oil supply worth Rs2.43 billion to Byco Pakistan Petroleum Limited in 2008-09 against which no payment was made.
According to him, it had also been established that the PSO management was involved in abuse of authority in entering into an illegal contract for supplying petroleum products to PSO with Byco Oil Pakistan Limited (BOPL) in 2012.
Byco, he said, was again thus commissioned in 2013, adding that as a result of this illegal agreement, substandard products were supplied to PSO, causing a loss of Rs60 billion to the national exchequer.
The NAB spokesperson also said that during the course of the investigation, it had also been established that the PSO management abused its authority by entering into another illegal agreement with Byco Pakistan, as a result of which the PSO supplied superior quality imported products (HSD & Petrol) to BPPL at abnormally subsidised rates.
This, he said, also resulted in a loss to the national exchequer. PSO, he said, entered into three illegal agreements with mala fide intent, extending favours to favourite companies for illegal personal gains.
The entire scam caused loss to the national exchequer to the tune of Rs63.687 billion.
He said that the accused detained from Karachi were produced before an accountability court on July 12 for securing their physical remand.
Zameer and Iqbal were remanded into NAB custody for 13 days each, while Lari was remanded to judicial custody on medical grounds.
Meanwhile, the accused arrested from Hunza and Islamabad will be produced before an accountability court in Islamabad on Monday.
Five other accused were arrested in ano