LAHORE - The NAB Lahore has filed 142 references against various people during the past 20 months, arresting 254 accused and making direct recoveries of Rs1,763 million. During this period, the NAB received 10,826 complaints, of which 10,106 have been processed.

Those against whom references have been filed include Abdul Ghafoor Wattoo, Zahoor Ahmed Wattoo and the management of Formanite Housing Scheme.

According to NAB documents, they are accused of having caused a loss of Rs1,807 million to people. They lured general public to invest/ purchase plots in the Formanite Housing Scheme which was not registered with any regulatory authority at the time. Likewise, they are also accused of selling bogus plots in unapproved areas and those mortgaged with the Lahore Development Authority. Non-completion of development work, illegal cancellation of plots and delay in giving possession are some other accusations against them.

More than 1,100 people had lodged complaints with the NAB, on the basis of which inquiries and investigations were carried out.

Another reference against Abdul Ghafoor Wattoo and others has been filed as they have a liability of Rs177 million in Abuzar Housing Scheme.

A reference has also been moved against Sheikh Muhammad Afzal and 11 others on the complaint of the Bank of Punjab (BoP).

Harris Afzal s/o Sheikh Muhammad Afzal is accused of having caused the bank a loss of Rs546 million.

The NAB is also pursuing a case against former BoP president Hamesh Khan and Haris Steel chief executive Sheikh Muhammad Afzal.

The allegation against the accused is misuse of authority, criminal breach of trust, forgery for the purpose of cheating, causing a huge loss to the Bank of Punjab. The principal amount of the loss is Rs8.4 billion while the mark up on it is Rs3.18 billion. The total amount, thus, is Rs11.589 billion.

In this case there are a total of 11 accused who are facing trial. Four have become approvers. A total of 19 people have entered into plea bargain or voluntary return under the relevant law.

This is probably one of the biggest cases dealt by the NAB Lahore.

The NAB is also pursuing a case against nine officials of the National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML), two bankers and another two private people. The accused include: Kamran Saeed (GM), Syed Ijaz Hussain Bukhari (RM), Salahuddin (deputy manager), Shoaib Ali Toor, Abdul Manan, Muhammad Tauseef, Muneeb Ahmed, Faizan Rasool and Salman Khan Niazi (all marketing officers).

The accused NFML officials misused their authority and allocated excessive urea quotas to different urea dealers without proper approval from the competent authority. Price of urea increased from Rs1,600 to Rs1,786 on Jan 16, 2014. Excess urea quota was booked for urea dealers and to oblige dealers, some of the booking was also made during the banned period.

Marketing officers, RM, GM and MD have been investigated. It transpired that marketing officers became the tool for this unauthorised booking. Some 300 urea dealers involved in the case are being summoned in order to record their statements. The role of bankers is also being examined and their statements have been recorded.

Nine accused officials (GM, RM and marketing officers, one urea dealer and two bankers have been arrested.

The NAB is also taking action against an ‘educational institution’ – Islamic University of Pakistan, Sialkot. It was illegally operating and offering hundreds of tertiary level programmes at its principal seat and other campuses. The complaint in this regard had been made by the DG (Accreditation& Attestation), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

Arrest warrants for the accused persons: Hafiz Muhammad Javed Cheema, Muhammad Tahir Javed Cheema, Muhammad Tayyab Javed Cheema and Muhammad Saleem Cheema were issued by the DG NAB, Lahore. Evidence collected by the NAB says that the Islamic University of Pakistan is not a recognized institution and is not affiliated with the HEC or any other relevant institution.

The NAB has also moved a reference against Muhammad Imran Raza, Ex-DLD, LDA, Muhammad Sharif and others. It was alleged that the accused officials of the LDA misused their positions and based on forged and tampered award illegally exempted a number of plots.

In another reference, the same Muhammad Imran Raza is accused of having managed to obtain exemptions on five plots which were cancelled by the LDA in 2009.