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NAB gets remand of key suspect in mega corruption case

NAB gets remand of key suspect in mega corruption case

QUETTA: Saleem Shah, the prime suspect in a mega corruption case, was remanded in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for 15 days by the Accountability Court of Quetta on Monday.

Shah, an official of the local government department, has been accused of massive embezzlement of development funds. Mir Khalid Khan Langov, former adviser to the chief minister on finance, and Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani, the suspended secretary of finance, have also been arrested in the case.

A NAB team produced Shah in court with a request to grant it his 15-day remand. The application was accepted by Judge Abdul Majeed Nasar. NAB officials took the suspect back to the bureau’s investigation centre for interrogation. He will be produced in court again on July 4.

A NAB official said that the bureau teams had recently conducted raids in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) in Karachi where they discovered that several bungalows and other properties were owned by Raisani and Shah.

“According to an estimate, the properties, including luxurious bungalows and costly vehicles, are worth Rs1 billion,” he said. Shah held the dual charge of the offices of chief municipal officer of Mach Municipality of Kachhi Bolan district and administrator of the Khaliqabad Municipal Committee of Kalat district. Khaliqabad is the native area of Khalid Langov, a leader of the National Party.

Sources said that the finance and local government departments had released Rs6 billion to Shah for development projects in the two areas during the financial year 2014-15. He is accused of having drawn the funds from banks through his signature with the connivance of other suspects arrested in the case.

Shah had escaped and gone into hiding after last month’s arrest of Raisani and recovery of over Rs650 million, including dollars and other foreign currency, from his house.

A NAB official alleged that Shah was the mastermind of the massive embezzlement. He was arrested in Hyderabad, Sindh. He had purchased properties in Karachi and Quetta by using the embezzled money, the official said, adding that his assets had been seized.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2016

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