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November 15, 2020

Top police officials embezzled billions of rupees from police funds


November 15, 2020

LAHORE: Four District Police Officers (DPOs) of Gujarat have been accused of embezzling billions of rupees from the Police Martyr and Pension Funds and several other heads and transferred it as their own agricultural income into Pindi Bhattian bank accounts, The News has learnt.

The information was given by Gujrat Police accountant Rizwan Asharf, who has now turned approver in the NAB Lahore reference against the four former DPOs of Gujarat.

The NAB had filed a reference against four former DPOs of Gujrat in this case, including SP Kamran Mumtaz, SSP Rai Ijaz, SSP Sohail Zafar Chattha and Rai Zameer. As per NAB all four former DPOs during their tenure in Gujrat had embezzled billions under different heads of procurement, including petrol, uniforms, martyr funds, fake vouchers, pensions and alleged ghost employments. The embezzled money would be brought from Gujarat to Pindi Bhattian, transferred to their bank accounts as agricultural income. Even the funds for police martyrs were not spared and used for renovation of private houses and lavish parties.

The News had reported back in August that Rizwan had expressed his consent to become an approver. On Saturday Rizwan officially recorded his statement as an approver before a magistrate against the four former SSPs and SPs of Gujrat.

Rizwan in his statement contended that he embezzled millions on the orders of former DPOs including Rai Aijaz, Rai Zameer, Kamran Mumtaz and Sohail Zafar Chattha.

The accountant informed the magistrate that SSP Rai Zameer received most of the embezzled amount followed by SSP Rai Ijaz, SSP Sohail Zafar Chattha and SP Kamran Mumtaz.

He informed the court that former DPO Gujrat Rai Ijaz gave gifts worth Rs. four million at his brother’s wedding from the national kitty. Rizwan stated that Rai Ijaz received monthly bribes from the budget meant for petrol in connivance with the MTO Akhtar Shah. His wife residing in Australia received monthly expenses from Pakistan national kitty, Rizwan alleged. Not only this, Rai Ijaz also used to send money to a woman in Multan from the government funds through me, Rizwan further stated.

Rizwan stated that Gujrat police seized containers during a sit in. Ijaz withdrew Rs.2.1 million from the national kitty for payment of compensation to the owners of the containers, but kept the money and the amount was never disbursed to the rightful owners, Rizwan further alleged. Merry making parties in private hotels of Gujrat were arranged and the expenses were paid from different Punjab Police funds, Rizwan claimed.

Earlier father of DPO Ijaz, former DPO Gujrat Rai Zameer also siphoned off millions of rupees monthly under from the funds meant for petrol. Rai Zameer also minted millions from the citizens of Gujarat as donations for the Police Welfare Hospital, Rizwan alleged.

Rizwan also made revelations about former DPO Gujrat Sohail Zafar Chatta alleging that his family bought electronics worth more than Rs one million from World Electronics in a single day. Chatta used Rs 260,000 of public funds to pay for an American visa, Rizwan added.

Rizwan claimed that Sohail Zafar spent the government money for renovating his private house.

Talking about another DPO Gujrat Kamran Mumtaz, Rizwan claimed that he was paid Rs. 2.5 million during his 3-month tenure as DPO. Rizwan said that wife of Kamran Mumtaz was paid Rs 50,000 monthly by him.

Interestingly, before the arrest of Rizwan, the NAB was not sure if he was alive or not. Rizwan claimed that on November 24, 2016, DPO Sohail Zafar threatened to kill him and told him to go into hiding. Rizwan claimed that he had given Rs. 4.5 million to Sohail Zafar Chattha to save his life.

Rizwan also confessed that he had a share of Rs 10 million out of the looted amount and he bought a house worth Rs. 5.5 million in the name of his niece out of that looted amount. I have now surrendered that house to the NAB, Rizwan added.

The police officials, including Rai Ejaz and Kamran Mumtaz were arrested by the NAB. SP Kamran Mumtaz was arrested after he returned from Australia where he had gone to attend a professional course. Later, all of them secured bails.

The NAB has accused Kamran of embezzling Rs550 million under different heads, including petrol bills, allowances and Police Martyrs Funds during his posting as Gujrat DPO (2015-16).

The NAB has accused SSP Rai Ijaz of causing a loss of Rs700 million to the exchequer through alleged misappropriation of police funds during his posting as Gujrat DPO. According to NAB, Ijaz spent Rs1.3 billion funds in eight months and allegedly misappropriated millions of rupees. He is also accused of involvement in appointment of “ghost” police constables.

Father of Ijaz Rai Zameer, a former DPO of Gujrat, is also wanted in this case. The other accused who are in NAB’s custody in this case include former District Accounts Officer, Gujrat namely Chan Peer (2016-17), District Accounts Officer, Gujrat Muhammad Afzal (2014-16), Muhammad Fayyaz Naqdi Muharar DPO Office, Gujrat, Rameez Ahmad ex-constable DPO Office Gujrat, Muhammad Ashraf Senior Auditor Accounts Gujrat, Muhammad Asif Butt Manager National Bank, Gujrat and Shakeel Ahmad NBP Operation Manager, Gujrat.