The National Accountability Bureau Lahore (NAB) has issued orders to freeze former Lahore Development Authority director general Ahad Khan Cheema’s assets, amounting to more than Rs800 million. He is one of the accused in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam.
The orders issued by the bureau were sent to the relevant authorities for implementation. Government authorities will take possession of assets until the conclusion of his trial. Sources informed The Express Tribune that the current market value of all these properties will run into the billions. The assets included agricultural land, flats, apartments, plots and bank premises.
The issued orders read that an investigation against Cheema over corruption and money laundering revealed that the properties were acquired in the suspect’s name and those of his dependents /benamidars.
“After appraising the record of investigation, I find that there are various reasons to believe that Cheema and others have committed the offences of corruption and corrupt practices, as defined in National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 and Money Laundering under Anti- Money Laundering Act, 2010. Therefore, order that aforesaid plots, properties may be frozen.”
NAB arrested Cheema in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing society scheme scam on charges of embezzlement and misuse of authority. He was accused of playing a role in illegally awarding the Ashiana-e-Iqbal contract to CASA Developers, a company which was not eligible for the project. The bureau, during investigations, also found that he owned properties worth billions of rupees.
The investigations revealed that Cheema had received illegal gratification in the form of 32-kanals of land worth Rs30.09 million from the account of Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd, a proxy group of Bismillah Engineering Services Company (a shareholder of JV of CASA Developers).
The bureau had also recovered Rs14.5 million in cash from a car showroom on Jail Road, Lahore. The amount was possessed by Cheema. The anti-graft watchdog also seized an SUV worth Rs11 million.
NAB revealed that his properties had grown considerably during his service. His family members had also received benefits using his influence, the investigations concluded.