2 petrol pump owners enter into plea bargain
By Numan Wahab
LAHORE : With owners of two petrol pumps entering into plea bargain with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) four former DPOs of Gujrat are likely to face a tougher situation in ongoing probe of Gujrat police funds embezzlement case worth billions.
The News has learnt that two petrol pumps owners Sagheer Ahmad and Ghulam Serwar have entered into plea bargain of worth Rs27 million with the NAB. It has learnt that both nominated accused persons in Gujrat funds embezzlement case on Friday filed their plea bargain applications before an accountability court judge Justice Muhammad Waseem Akhter.
Sagheer Ahmad implored the court to accept his Rs14 million plea bargain deal while Ghulam Serwar for Rs13 million plea bargain. Both accused had committed corruption through fake receipts. The court has accepted plea bargain of the accused persons.
The sources in the bureau while talking to The News regarding the development said that the accused had made fake receipts to facilitate corruption of police officials. Explaining the modus operandi of petrol corruption they said that petrol pump owners issued receipts of Rs2,000 for actual petrol of Rs500 being used in a police vehicle. In this single transaction, Rs1,500 were embezzled out of which petrol pump owner received his share while police officials got their share. They said petrol pump owners have also shared the names of police officials who were beneficiary of corruption under the head of petrol but their names couldn’t be shared at the moment due to sensitivity of the probe. Moreover, they said that former DPOs will prefer to contest their cases instead of entering into a plea bargain as entering into a plea bargain will cost them their jobs. The sources said that plea bargain of petrol pump owners had strengthened bureau’s case against police officials and reference against them to be filed in coming days will be evident of that.
It is pertinent to mention that NAB is probing four former DPOs of Gujrat in this case, including SP Kamran Mumtaz, SSP Rai Ijaz, SSP Sohail Zafar Chattha and Rai Zameer. As per NAB claims, all four former DPOs during their tenure in Gujrat had embezzled billions under different heads of
procurement, including petrol, uniforms, martyr funds, fake vouchers, pensions and alleged ghost employments.
It is pertinent to mention that top police officials, including Rai Ejaz and Kamran Mumtaz were arrested by the NAB and are now on judicial remand. NAB had arrested SP Kamran Mumtaz after he had returned from Australia where he had gone to attend a professional course.
The Bureau has accused him of embezzling Rs550 million under different heads, including petrol bills, allowances and martyrs funds of the police department during his posting as Gujrat DPO (2015-16). The NAB has accused SSP Rai Ijaz of causing a loss of Rs700 million to the exchequer through alleged misappropriation of police funds during his posting as Gujrat DPO. According to NAB, Ijaz spent Rs1.3 billion funds in eight months and allegedly misappropriated millions of rupees. He is also accused of involvement in appointment of “ghost” police constables.
Ijaz’s father Rai Zameer, a former DPO of Gujrat, is also wanted in this case. The other accused who are in NAB’s custody in this case include former District Accounts Officer, Gujrat namely Chan Peer (2016-17), District Accounts Officer, Gujrat Muhammad Afzal (2014-16), Muhammad Fayyaz Naqdi Muharar DPO Office, Gujrat, Rameez Ahmad ex-constable DPO Office Gujrat, Muhammad Ashraf Senior Auditor Accounts Gujrat, Muhammad Asif Butt Manager National Bank, Gujrat and Shakeel Ahmad NBP Operation Manager, Gujrat.