Multan metro bus scam: NAB unearths Rs2.2b loss to national exchequer

The News

ISLAMABAD: The NAB has clarified some reports/news published in a section of press regarding Multan Metro Bus Project and termed media reports/ news concocted, mere speculations and imaginary.
Such crime fiction media reports/ news may attract ordinary reader as good past time but does not serve the purpose for prosecution being devoid of plausible incriminating evidence. Moreover such concocted news/reports may create mistrust and hatred against the state institutions among general public by painting as ineffective and inefficient organisations.
The brief facts of Multan Metro Bus Project are that an inquiry was authorised by competent authority to probe Multan Metro Bus Project. The inquiry covered 4 main dimensions of the matter explained as under:
a. Evaluation of feasibility study and approval of the project.
b. Evaluation of bidding process, award of contracts, execution of works, international procurements, payments made to contractors, sub-contractors, vendors etc.
c. Evaluation of land acquisition process
d. Tracking/trailing of financial transactions into accounts of M/s Yabaite China The said inquiry was split into 2 investigations as per transactions of offences committed in Multan Metro Bus Project. Three different teams of experts comprising engineers, bankers and revenue officers were constituted to assist the investigation team. Relevant record was collected from departments concerned. Officers/officials of departments concerned, consultants, banks, account holders, land owners, suppliers etc. were thoroughly interrogated during investigation. The NAB teams visited Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad for collection of evidence. Analysis of plethora of record has been carried out for government money paid from national exchequer. Accused persons were placed on ECL and a number of accused have been arrested while a few were admitted to pre-arrest bail by the honorable courts. Loss to national exchequer to the tune of Rs2,200 million (Rs2.2 billion) has been unearthed during the course of investigation. Three out of six construction companies have submitted their applications to NAB for return of illegal gains to the national exchequer. Mutual legal assistance (MLA) has been generated for detection of trans-border transactions for collection of information from relevant authorities.
Multan NAB is conducting investigation as per law. After completion of investigation, Multan NAB will send its investigation report to NAB Headquarters, Islamabad for further scrutiny and review of operation division and legal vetting of prosecution division. After due process of scrutiny and legal vetting on the basis of incriminating evidence, investigation report will be presented in the Executive Board meeting which is the highest forum to have detailed deliberation, discussion and thorough review on the basis of evidence collected during investigation as per law, the Executive Board decides further course of action as per law. In view of the facts explained above, the media is requested to kindly avoid publishing/ airing speculative news/reports of criminal cases as the same may jeopardize the due process of law and cause irreparable loss to the repute and image of the state institutions.
Fakhar Durrani adds: NAB clarification has proved The News story right as it has not contradicted even a single fact mentioned in article. This correspondent stands by his story.
NAB has failed to answer following points in its lengthy yet irrelevant clarification.
1. Whether or not FIA handed over the record of money laundering in Multan Metro Bus to NAB?
2. Whether or not the transaction details of $2.8 million by two Pakistan companies — Horizon International and AG International — from June 2016 to March were handed over by FIA to NAB?
3. Whether or not NAB has summoned Aslam Khan the owner of Horizon International who was involved in laundering money from Pakistan to China and taken him into custody for further investigation?
4. Whether or not NAB summoned Sheikh Ijaz Asghar, the co-director of Yabaite Pakistan and interrogated him in Multan Metro Bus Project?
5. Whether or not NAB has summoned or arrested Salman Sehgal who confessed before Punjab Police that he made fake letters of Punjab CM, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Senator Kulsoom Perveen?
6. Did any investigation officer of NAB attend the bail hearings of Ijaz Asghar Sheikh and Salman Sehgal?
7. Why did NAB not oppose the bail of Ijaz Asghar Sheikh and Salman Sehgal and why they were given clean chit by NAB?
8. Did NAB ever confiscate the computers and other record of Soneri Bank’s cloth market branch Karachi for forensic audit? The two Pakistani companies — Horizon International and AG international — transferred the money from Pakistan to China via Dubai from this branch.
9. Why has NAB not confiscated the computer of Salman Sehgal which was used for creating fake letters of former Punjab CM and two Senators? The computer was confiscated by Punjab Police after the confession of accused Salman Sehgal. Whether NAB formally requested handing over of the computer of forensic report of the said computer?
10. Why has NAB not interrogated the CEO of Chinese company Yabaite, a key character of the mega scam?
11. Despite passage of almost 11 months since NAB took over the case from FIA, how many people involved in money laundering related to this case have been arrested by NAB?
Instead of giving answers to these particular questions in its clarification, the NAB has issued a general statement. This statement itself has confirmed The News’ story that the focus of NAB investigation is not the money laundering but it has mysteriously changed the entire direction of the investigation from money laundering to technical. This has raises question about the real intentions of NAB in this mega scam.

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