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July 8, 2018

NAB seizes Blackberry, laptops in raid at Fawad’s house

Top Story

July 8, 2018

LAHORE: Fawad Hassan Fawad, who served as principal secretary of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has also joined the famous ‘Blackberry club’ on Saturday, as the NAB raided his house and seized significant evidentiary material and record files, including a blackberry phone.

The Bureau is hopeful to get important information, details of transactions and conversations from the forensic audit of Fawad’s blackberry phone as the investigators have accessed the password.

Fawad is under the custody of NAB on physical remand after his arrest was made on July 5 in Ashiana-i-Iqbal scam involving 14 billion.

Hard to crack Blackberry phones are in news headlines of Pakistani media after Hussain Haqqani’s Memogate’ controversy and PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan’s Blackberry phone which is said to be in custody of Reham Khan, his former wife of PTI chief.

It has learnt that a NAB team raided the residence of Fawad in Lahore and also seized two laptops, five mobile phones and more than 30 USBs.

Sources in the Bureau informed this scribe that all the material have been sent for the forensic audit. Moreover, the files confiscated from Fawad’s place contain reports and the minutes of meetings chaired by former premier and others.

The Bureau had launched an investigation into the scam in November 2016 after receiving a number of complaints regarding an illegal deal involving 3,000 public kanals between the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), a company owned by the government, and different private companies.

As per NAB’s investigation, Fawad, stated to be a close aide to Sharif brothers being secretary implementation to the then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in 2013 misused his authority. He called PLDC CEO Tahir Khursheed and Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Project Director Ali Moazzam in his office and directed both to cancel the contract with M/s Ch Latif & Sons.

It is pertinent to mention that contract awarded to M/s Ch Latif & Sons was legal accordance with PPRA rules and that firm was the lowest qualified bidder.

Moreover, the firm was working on the project for eight months when Fawad called the officials and asked them to cancel the contract.

The Bureau’s investigation further revealed that Fawad concealed the report of an Independent Inquiry Committee headed by Secretary Finance Tariq Bajwa which declared the award of contract to Ch Latif and Sons as per law following (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules) PPRA rules.

Due to illegal cancellation of contract, the government had to pay Rs 5.9 million

to the contractor as damages. The illegal cancellation delayed the project also which resulted in cost

escalation worth billions of rupees.

Not only this, the Bureau’s team, while investigating Fawad’s profile, found that he unlawfully worked for Bank Alfalah during September 2005 to July 2006. Fawad had requested permission from the secretary establishment for working with Bank Alfalah which was declined but he kept on working for the bank illegally.

The accused also worked for Sprint Energy a subsidiary of JS Group and prepared/presented fake NOCs for transfer of site of nine CNG Pumps from one district to another.

Moreover, as per NAB, Fawad as Punjab health secretary in 2010 purchased six mobile health hospitals on exorbitant rates.

The said purchase was made against the approval of the concerned committee which had approved purchase of five units.

The accused purchased each unit at the price of Rs 55 million at much exorbitant rates, whereas, the price of same Unit was almost same (Rs 58m) that was acquired by the Health Department in 2016.

Meanwhile, the NAB has also started another inquiry against Fawad in which top bureaucrat has been accused of constructing a multi-story shopping mall in Rawalpindi having a real estate value of 12 billion.

Previously, the NAB had also questioned Shahbaz for cancelling the contract with Ch Latif & Sons.

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