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August 6, 2017

Six accused in Rs20.6m corruption case arrested


August 6, 2017


The anti-corruption department, Rawalpindi has so far failed to arrest two main culprits in corruption case regarding overpayment in purchase of Astroturf for two football grounds in the city.

Anti-Corruption Department, Rawalpindi Assistant Director (Complaint) Attiq-ur-Rehman said that higher authorities have directed them to immediately arrest the culprits in this case.

Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Director General Malik Abid, deputy director Azizullah, deputy director Saqib Elahi, assistant director Khalid Saeed Butt, sub-engineer Shakeel Ahmed and a contractor Khawar Saeed are in Civil Lines Police Station custody under three-day physical remand given by Additional District and Sessions Judge Gulzar Ahmed. The accused will appear before the court tomorrow (Monday).

The main accused in the case, Shafiq-ur-Rehman, from Rawal Construction and Jabbar Shah from DJ Construction fled from the scene. They are the contractors of this project and bought grass from New Zealand and Malaysia through Tiger Tuff Company. The two contractors, Shafiq-ur-Rehman and Jabbar Shah set a deal with Khawar Saeed who is in police custody to buy Astroturf grass. It was the contract of Rs25.6 million while PHA had already made payment of Rs14 million while the remaining amount was till pending.

Anti-Corruption Department, Rawalpindi Assistant Director (Investigation) Chaudhary Ziaullah told ‘The News’ that they were continuously raiding to arrest the main culprits in this case. When ‘The News’ asked whether main accused fled from the scene or somebody informed them to go underground. The government officer agreed ‘The News’ saying ‘may be’.

According to the statement given by anti-corruption department, Rawalpindi region director Junaid Ibrahim that they have arrested six accused after filing a case against them on the charges of Rs20.6 million corruption in the procurement of Astroturf laid in football grounds at the under-construction Shehbaz Sharif Park and the Government Postgraduate College for Boys, 6th Road.

Earlier, the Punjab government had suspended the five officials on the charges of corruption levelled by contractors and referred the case to the ACE. The provincial government had also sent a team from the ACE Lahore to investigate the matter.

The team concluded their findings late on Thursday night and arrested the officials and a contractor. “Other contractors (had alleged that the officials forced a contractor to purchase Astroturf from a plant which produced low quality product. The payments, however, were made according to the high quality Astroturf.

A key post official of Punjab government on condition of anonymity said that it was pre-planned to arrest government officials including director general PHA in this case. It was a plot of Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Jabbar Shah and a famous political leader of Rawalpindi belong to PML-N. There was a tussle in between PHA director general and political leader of PML-N as government officer was running official matters strictly on merit basis, the sources said.

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