NAB given till 24th to file reference in Fazaia Housing Scheme land scam – Pakistan


KARACHI: A liability court on Thursday ordered the authorities of the National Accountability Office to submit a reference in the alleged land scam of the Fazaia Housing Plan of Rs18 billion before May 24.

Suspects Tanvir Ahmed and Bilal Tanvir of Maxim Properties have been arrested on charges of misleading the public on behalf of the Fazaia Housing Plan launched as a joint venture with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in 2015.

On Thursday, the matter was brought before the administrative judge of the accountability courts, when investigative officer Pervaiz Abro requested more time to allow NAB to submit a reference in the matter.

He said the parties (PAF and M / s Maxim Properties) were trying to reach an agreement for the successful bidders to be reimbursed, adding that such an agreement would likely be made before May 14. Therefore, they will be given more time to do so. those in need

Speaking about IO Abro, the judge noted that almost 120 days had passed since the suspects were arrested and the matter was brought to court. The judge asked why a reference had not yet been filed in the matter despite the additional time granted.

The court ordered the OI to file a referral with the court and adjourned the hearing until May 24.

PAF and Maxim Properties are trying to come up with a plan to reimburse investors for the Rs18 billion project, the liability court said

The court also requested an IO report on the suspects' personal belongings, which were seized at the time of their arrest, as requested by the defense attorney.

On the latest date, the IO had informed the court that the NAB regional board meeting on March 16 had recommended the submission of a reference after approval by the appropriate authority, the NAB President.

In addition, he stated that the matter was sent to NAB headquarters for further processing on March 18, adding that headquarters made some observations. After addressing the observations, the case was forwarded to NAB in Islamabad for a decision by its president, the IO added.

However, the IO had said that during the hearing of identical petitions related to the same matter in the Sindh High Court, the lawyer for the suspects had said that the parties (PAF and Maxim Properties) were trying to reach an agreement to that the successful bidders could be reimbursed.

Therefore, he had requested time to file a report on the matter, which was allowed until April 30.

In a previous hearing, the IO had presented in a progress report that both suspects allegedly kept the project site / location hidden, bypassing the public on behalf of the PAF with the intention of extracting maximum amounts from the affected people.

He also mentioned that the PAF had already submitted a request to the NAB to be reimbursed to affected people and was more willing to settle all liabilities.

The IO stated that during the interrogation of the suspects it had been recorded that they illegally charged the winners an amount of Rs39 million as a surcharge, Rs77m as processing fees, Rs9bn in apartments, Rs5bn in bungalows and more data on their illegal accumulation of being unearthed money to discover the exact amount of fraud.

Regarding land fraud, the IO said that additional evidence had been recorded that the Sindh government had already issued a notification in 2014 regarding land for the K-IV water supply project by invoking Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894.

But, the IO said, the arrested suspects concealed this fact and managed to get the PAF to accept the lands included in the K-IV project for its 2015 housing scheme with the complicity of other accomplices. The bad faith intentions were evident in the fact that they raised money from people for land already earmarked for a government project, the IO added.

He said that 170 individuals / companies, who were paid, should be tracked to ensure recovery of the money from those affected and find the other beneficiaries.

Posted in Dawn, May 1, 2020



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