NAB to probe NHA officer’s means of income

The Nation

Millions of rupees robbery Islamabad police had recovered Rs25m robbed from house of Ikram Us Saqlain Haider

ISLAMABAD – Chairman National Accountability Bureau Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has taken notice of the presence of the huge sums of cash in the house of an officer of the National Highway Authority and ordered to initiate an inquiry of assets beyond means.

It was reported by The Nation that the Islamabad police have recovered around 25 million rupees robbed from the house of NHA’s officer Ikram Us Saqlain Haider, which raised serious questions about his conduct and source of income because he paid only Rs200,125 as tax last year.

The Chairman NAB, while taking notice of the said news report, directed Director General NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Naeem Mangi to initiate an inquiry of assets beyond means against NHA officer, who is accused of placing millions of rupees in his house.

The story began with a complaint lodged by the General Manager NHA Ikram Us Saqlain Haider on 10th January 2019 in Kohsar Police Station in which he had claimed that his housemaid named Zeenat Yaqoob stole an amount of Rs7,115,000, prize bounds worth of Rs960,000 and six gold bangles. He claimed that the stolen amount and jewellery belongs to her mother, who had died a few months ago.

He explained in his complaint that he had already recovered Rs3,075,000 from the bag of his housemaid while she also admitted to giving Rs1,000,000 to one of his cousin named Murtaza. The officer requested Kohsar police to lodge a case against Zeenat Yaqoob, her father and other family members to recover the remaining amount and gold bangles.

But, the story took a sharp turn here as his housemaid Zeenat Yaqoob during the investigation not only admitted the robbery of the aforementioned amount but while going beyond that she also confessed to have stolen more than fifty million rupees cash from the house of Ikram during the last few months.

Zeenat also informed the police that she was in love with her cousin named Murtaza whom she had delivered Rs1,000,000 but he was not willing to marry her. The housemaid revealed further that she contacted a self-proclaimed spiritual leader named Shakil Ahmed Sabri allies Syed Burhan Shah Wali of Faisalabad to mild her boyfriend.

Sources inside the police station informed this scribe that Zaneet Yaqoob confessed that she gave approximately fifty million rupees to the said fake spiritual leader to get back his boyfriend.

In response, the Kohsar Police with the help of arrested lady managed to book the fake spiritual leader via a trap operation in Islamabad who also admitted his crime and returned an amount of Rs 21,600,000. The investigating officer in the case Assistant Sub Inspector Muhammad Akram Ranjha told The Nation that police have arrested Murtaza and Peer Burhan and recovered around twenty-five million rupees from them.

Though the police have recovered the stolen amount but at the same time, it raised serious questions regarding the presence of the huge amount of cash in the house of a government officer. The officer was uncertain about the volume of amount theft as he claimed around 8.1 million in his complaint while recovery was much greater than that amount.

According to the tax details of Ikram, he had only paid Rs134,391, Rs202,560, and Rs200,125 in the year 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. However, according to the sources, the arrested lady revealed that millions of rupees were stashed in the house of NHA’s officer but he never bothered to even calculate the amount.

Haider is a grade-19 officer of NHA and appointed as General Manager Road Asset Management Directorate and was generally considered as a decent officer. His colleagues informed that he is a lonely son of a retired bureaucrat and the son-in-law of a former High Court judge.

He is the member or the head of several important committees within NHA. When questioned about any departmental inquiry or suspension of the said officer, NHA Chairman Jawad Rafique Malik responded: “We have not taken any action or launched an inquiry against Mr Haider so far.”

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