TAXILA: Six people, including five officials from the Punjab Mines and Minerals department, have been implicated in the illegal extraction of millions of rupees worth of gold on the pretext of quarrying gravel and sand from the Indus River near Attock, according to sources in the Punjab Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE).
ACE Rawalpindi Director Arif Raheem told the press on Wednesday that ACE has registered separate cases of corruption against five people – these including four mines and minerals department officials including a former director general – in the case of an illegal mining contract that cost the national exchequer millions of rupees.
He said an inquiry team was constituted on July 26 following complaints that the contract was awarded on a reduced price.
Mr Raheem said that in its initial investigation, Rawalpindi’s anti-corruption department found massive irregularities and abuse of authority in the conduct of the mining department.
The contractor, with the help of theaforementioned mines and minerals departmentofficials, began placer mining gold from the site, he said.
He said the department, on the recommendation of the joint inquiry team, found five department officials – a director general, three managers and a geologist – as well as the contractor responsible for causing millions of rupees in losses by illegally allotting, quarrying and mining on the banks of the River Indus in Wessa, Attock.
The six individuals have been nominated under sections 420, 109, 167 and 409 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the ACE police station.