ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday arrested Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani from Islamabad in case of assets beyond known sources of income including financial transactions and benamidar properties.

NAB Karachi has arrested Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani in collaboration with NAB Rawalpindi and Intelligence Wing NAB Headquarters.

Agha Siraj Durani was arrested by NAB Karachi on the directions of NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal from a local hotel. NAB shifted Agha Siraj Durrani to NAB Headquarters and presented him before Accountability Court and got his three days transit remand.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir heard the case and directed NAB to conduct the accused medical analysis this day. It is pertinent to mention here that NAB asked the court to grant seven-day remand, on which, the judge expressed his concerns and said the accused should be produced in the relevant court as early as possible.

According to NAB officials, the Bureau shifted Durrani to Karachi last night for further course of investigation.

Documents available with The Nation disclosed the ground of arrest of Agha Siraj Durrani, which is necessary to complete the chain of financial transactions through which the accused accumulated assets beyond known sources of income. The documents further revealed that the arrest is also vital to ascertain names of his benamidars as in whose name he purchased the properties. The accused is very influential as he may inference the witnesses, abscond and hamper the legal proceedings against him, the documented said. The documents further said that the accused reportedly accumulated assets/pecuniary resources at his native place Garhi Yasin, therefore resistance may be shown from the accused while unearthing the actual assets at his native place.

The documents further revealed that Agha Siraj Durrani, in his aforesaid capacities committed an offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined in section 9(a)(v) of NAO 1999 that “he possesses or his dependents or benamidars has acquired right or title to assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably account for or maintains a standard of living beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income. The total income declared by the accused from 1985 till June 2018 is Rs 84426978 whereas the accused  has submitted the list of properties/assets in his name as well as in his family /dependents having value Rs 269004026 (so far determined). The accused has assets disproportionate to his known sources of income which attracts offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9 (a) of NAO 1999 and schedule thereto”.

In a statement, the NAB denied media reports alleging that Irfan Mangi,

 

 

 

 

a Sindhi brought from Sindh to arrest Sindhis. It said that NAB, a national institution is taking action across the board throughout the country to eradicate the menace of corruption in accordance with law and no province enjoys immunity in this regard.

It said that officers of NAB have no affiliation with any party, individual or group. NAB condemns provincialism as its officers have first and last affiliation with state of Pakistan. It said that NAB officers are performing their duties with honesty, transparently, dedication in accordance with law. It said that the baseless propaganda against NAB is aimed at impacting NAB activities. NAB will continue its working in accordance with law, it added.

Residence raided

Staff Reporter from Karachi adds: Soon after the detention of Agha Siraj Durrani in Islamabad, NAB authorities conducted a search raid at his residence in Karachi.

The officials accompanied by heavy contingents of police and Rangers cordoned off the residence of Agha Siraj Durrani and searched it. Sources said Durrani’s family mainly women were present in the house when the NAB team raided it. The team separated the family members and the servants before starting the search.

The anti-graft watchdog team entered the house after showing the search warrants to the family. While the security guards deployed at the house hid their weapons as they saw the NAB officials.

According to NAB sources, the authorities have taken into possession valuables, documents and other material from the residence in order to present them in court as evidence in assets beyond means case.

Sindh cabinet members also staged a protest outside the residence of Durrani for not allowing them to meet family members of the speaker.

Durrani is a member of the Pakistan People’s Party of Asif Ali Zardari who also faces a multibillion-rupee money laundering case opened last year, and is currently out on bail.