Friday June 14, 2024

Rangers reveal kickbacks of billions taken by Dr Asim

Accused PPP leader received daily kickback of Rs2 bn from PSO, Rs150-200m per day from selected textile mills and captive power plants; Turkish company paid $40-50m for prequalification as LNG exporter; 12-page report sent to NAB; five SSGC, Petroleum Ministry officials tell how Dr Asim collected billions in kickbacks; banks asked to submit data on Dr Asim and other arrested persons; chairman NAB briefed by DG Rangers, Karachi corps commander

By our correspondents
September 24, 2015
DUBAI: In its first official and detailed report on the high-profile interrogation of Asif Ali Zardari’s right hand man Dr Asim Hussain since his arrest on August 26, the Sindh Rangers have come up with astonishing figures of corruption with hundreds of billions pocketed by Dr Asim and his bosses.
The 12-page report, officially sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for further investigation and action, lists details of how the PPP leader took kickbacks from whom and in what amounts.
Officials said on Wednesday the NAB had already formed a Joint Investigation Team with Rangers to further probe these specific charges and the NAB Chairman Chaudhry Qamar Zaman had already received briefings from both the Rangers chief and the corps commander Karachi to proceed further in the case.
A copy of the Rangers confidential report, available with The News, confirms almost all the charges of astronomical loot and plunder that was so far heard only on the media and was never confirmed by any official investigating agency.
The covering letter of the Rangers report, sent to the NAB on September 9, describes Dr Asim Hussain as “prima donna at the national level” who accrued “mighty illegal benefits which magnified his financial stature and social standing equating him to be indispensable.”
Five other officials of the Sui Gas companies and Petroleum Ministry, who were also arrested and interrogated, gave explicit details of how Dr Asim had collected billions upon billions in kickbacks from companies, even those which were known friends of Asif Ali Zardari.
The persons who were interrogated include Zuhair Siddiqui (ex-Managing Director SSGC), Shoaib Warsi (Deputy MD SSGC), Amin Rajput (Chief Financial Officer SSGC), Fayyaz Merchant (Sr GM SSGC) and Kamran Ehsan Nagi (GM SSGC).
The report states: “Dr Asim has been found involved in various acts of corruption, corrupt practices and misuse of authority as public office holder… He is responsible for inflicting losses to the tune of billions of rupees on the national exchequer…Huge amounts so embezzled were provided to his political masters, which were subsequently used in terror financing and funding target killers.”
The following are the specific cases mentioned in the Rangers report:
—- Dr Asim gave favours and illegal gas connections to KESC, which was owned by Abraaj Group with links to Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur to the tune of Rs100 billion.
—- Zuhair Siddiqui admitted that he had paid Rs6-7 billion to Dr Asim collected after illegal gas connections were given to companies including KESC which was allowed to keep Rs62 billion in unpaid gas receivables.
—- He revealed, as per Page-10, para 3 of the Rangers report, that “Dr Asim directed him as MD SSGC to grant liberty to Omni Group of Anwar Majeed, a friend of Asif Zardari, to allow enhanced loads of gas to captive power plants and sugar mills of Asif Zardari through Omni Group, thereby causing loss of billions to the national exchequer.”
—- Dr Asim allowed uninterrupted gas supply to selected textile mills of APTMA and captive power plants and collected Rs150 to 200 million per day as kickbacks.
— Zuhair Siddiqui revealed that a Turkish global company paid US$40 to 50 million to Dr Asim for prequalification as an exporter of LNG gas. Siddiqui himself got $0.25 million as kickback.
—- Para 8 on Page 10 of the report reveals that Dr Asim received daily kickback of Rs2 billion from PSO, through Shah, a Deputy MD PSO, and Jaffery, a GM, whose brother is a close friend of Asif Zardari.
—- Dr Asim received Rs1 billion as kickback from Abbas and Khalid Steel Mills.
Dozens of similar details of what amounts were taken in land deals with Manzur Kaka, the building authority official who has escaped from Pakistan, PMDC issues and oil kickbacks, have also been revealed in the report.
These specific charges will now be investigated in detail by the JIT of Rangers and NAB and references will then be sent to the court.
The Rangers report also reveals that all banks in the country were ordered to submit the entire financial data of Dr Asim and other arrested persons while all of them were to be placed on the ECL so that they could not leave the country.
On September 11, 2015, two days after the Rangers report was received by the NAB, a letter was issued to form the JIT which has now been set up and has started its work.
The astounding figures quoted in the report over a period of 4 to 5 years would amount to hundreds of billions of rupees collected by Dr Asim and his associates for his bosses.
There is no mention in the report how these huge amounts were transferred overseas or whether this money was still in the Pakistani banks but all accounts have been seized.