Thursday September 29, 2022

Paragon City scam: NAB files long-awaited reference against Khwaja brothers

June 01, 2019

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday filed a reference against Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) former ministers – Khwaja Saad Rafique and Khwaja Salman Rafique – claiming that the Khwaja brothers were real owners of the Paragon City housing project.

NAB revealed that Qaiser Amin Butt, the main accused in the Paragon Housing scam, voluntarily disclosed the facts related to the commission of offence and requested for pardon under Section 26 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO 1999), which was granted by the competent authority.

NAB filed long-awaited reference against Kh Saad Rafique, Kh Salman Rafique, Nadeem Zia Pirzada, his son Umer Zia and Farhan Ali.

NAB stated in the reference that Saad Rafique, in connivance with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia, started a housing project namely Air Avenue, which was an illegal housing society.

Later it was converted into M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd. Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique, in connivance with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt, defrauded a large number of members of the housing society. Saad opened a company, Executive Builders, in his and his wife’s name, and later converted it into Paragon and withdrew a large sum of amount from the account of Executive Builders. The Khwaja brothers embezzled the funds of illegal housing society for personal gains, and collected heavy amounts despite clear directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) that the society was illegal.

Moreover, the Khwaja brothers wrongfully received Rs18.2 million from Paragon City in their accounts. NAB further stated that Kh Saad Rafique established a firm, namely Saadain Associates, and wrongfully gained Rs58 million from M/s Executive Builders. Also, Kh Salman Rafique established a firm namely KSR Associates, and wrongfully gained Rs39 million from M/s Executive Builders, which was a proxy concern of M/s Paragon City.

NAB established that Khwaja brothers owned 93.6 per cent shares of the Paragon City, while Qaiser Amin Butt owned only 7.4 per cent shares of the project.