Sunday June 23, 2024

NAB arrests DRAP ex-head in mega corruption case

By Asim Yasin
November 26, 2016


The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi on Thursday arrested Arshad Farooq Faheem, ex-chairman Drugs Pricing Committee, DRAP, Additional Secretary (BPS-21) Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, in mega drug corruption case. 

The accused gave financial benefits to eight pharmaceutical companies / firms in the shape of illegal price increase of their drugs causing loss to the public at large to the tune of Rs1078.08 million approximately out of which an amount of Rs400 million has already been recovered.

In the same case, NAB has already arrested eight accused namely Dr. Muhammad Ali (the then Secretary cum Member Drugs Pricing Committee); Ahsan Feroze, Director of M/s Maple Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd, Arif Aziz Akhai, proprietor M/s Akhai Agencies, Amir Siddique, Director of Excel Health Care Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd, Saif-ur-Rehman & Khalil-ur-Rehman, Directors of M/s Galaxy Pharma (Pvt) Ltd, Rizwan Umer & Muqtadir M. A. Javaid, Directors of M/s Martin Dow Ltd. They were produced before the Judge Accountability Court, Islamabad on 22.11.2016 where 10 days physical remand has been granted to NAB for investigations. 

As per investigation report , NAB Rawalpindi submitted in the court that the members of Drug Pricing Committee in connivance with beneficiary Pharma companies / firms extended undue financial benefits to pharmaceutical companies / firms in the shape of illegal and unjustified price increase of their drugs through DPC meeting held on 09-10-2012 & 22-01-2013 and subcommittee meeting held on 19-11-2012. The wrongful financial benefits derived by the eight pharmaceutical companies / firms on the basis of price increase through above said meetings comes to around Rs1,078.08 million till 30-6-2015. 

This illegal benefit is perpetually being gained by the pharmaceutical companies / firms who submitted inflated invoices / incorrect / incomplete costing data and were selling their drugs at prices which were illegally increased by the members of DPC. 

During the process of investigation, it was revealed that the pharmaceutical companies in connivance with accused officers/ officials submitted incomplete/incorrect and inflated invoices to DRAP for fixation of drugs prices at exorbitant rates. 

Due to illegal price hike in the DPC meetings held on 09-10-2012 & 22-01-2013 and sub-committee meeting held on 19-11-2012 approximately Rs1,078.08 million has been pocketed by these pharmaceutical companies causing huge burden on general public. 

In this case, two accused persons namely Tariq Haider and Mian Muhammad Khalid were arrested but released by the Accountability Court after payment of their liability of Rs385.12 million and Rs15 million from the directors of M/s Saffron Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd. 

The Director General NAB Rawalpindi Attiq-ur-Rehman has said that NAB under the leadership of. Qamar Zaman Chaudary, Chairman NAB is committed to eradicate corruption by adopting the policy of zero tolerance across the board. He appreciated the job done by Muhammad Saleem Ahmad Khan, investigation officer; as well as NAB Rawalpindi for putting extra efforts in nabbing these corrupt people thus bringing them behind bars in line with NAB’s strategy.