ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was yesterday given a clean chit by the accountability watchdog in money-laundering case pending since 2001.

The NAB Executive Board meeting closed the investigation process against the finance minister due to lack of evidence. The executive board meeting held under the chair of Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry and decided to file five corruption references and it also authorised two inquiries.

According to details, it was decided that the first corruption reference will be filed against Arshad Farooq Faheem and others.

These persons were accused of exorbitant and illegal increase in prices during drug pricing committee meetings and caused a loss of Rs 692.96 million to the national exchequer in this case.

The second corruption reference will be against Asfand Yar Kakar, former minister for food Balochistan and others as the accused were alleged for embezzlement in govt wheat amounting to Rs 466.914 million from Provincial Reserve Center Pishin, Balochistan.

Similarly, the third corruption reference will be against Muhammad Aslam Butt, ex-Mayor, Municipal Corporation Gujranwala and others.

In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority and awarded contract to M/s Rathore Enterprises on higher rates and caused a loss of millions of rupees to the national exchequer. The fourth corruption reference will be filed against Dr Ihsan Ali, Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan and others. The accused persons in this case were alleged for misuse of authority by making illegal appointments of 652 officials on contract/temporary basis that too without advertisements and completing all codal formalities as per law and caused a loss of Rs 462 million to the national exchequer.

The fifth and last corruption reference will be filed against Syed Mussarrat Abbas, former Additional Secretary, Senate Secretariat, Islamabad and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds of Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Housing Society.

The EBM also decided to close investigation against Abdul Karim Nosherwani, ex-Minister for Excise and Taxation, Balochistan which was pending for closure since 1999, investigation against Zahid Anwar, Chief Executive and Rukhsana Begum, Director M/s Zeeshan Energy Ltd, Faisalabad due to lack of incriminating evidence.

The NAB EBM reauthorised an investigation against officers/officials of MEPCO, Trust Investment Bank Limited (TIBL), Multan and others in case of Rs. 297.289 million corruption.

The EBM authorised two inquiries and the first inquiry was authorised against Shafqat Shah Shirazi, Ex-MNA and Ejaz shah Shirazi, Ex-MPA District Thatta Sindh and the accused persons were alleged for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income.

The Second inquiry was authorised against Dost Muhammad, Rahimoo, Minister for Ushar and Zakat Sindh and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, misappropriation in distribution of Wheat in Taluka Chachro and Dhali, Sindh and misuse of authority. Thus caused a loss of Rs 500 million to the national exchequer.

The EBM also decided to close inquiry against Gohar Ejaz, CEO and others, inquiry against Israr Rauf, Member FATE, FBR and others and Tariq Shafi, account holder of Standard Chartered Bank Main Branch, Karachi due to lack of incriminating evidence.