Rs 265m recovered, 47 properties confiscated in Rs 1.5bln APO scam

1641

ISLAMABAD, April 12 (APP): The Senate’s Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization was informed on Wednesday that recovery of Rs 265 million had been made so far in the Rs 1.5 billion Abandoned Properties Organization (APO) financial fraud.
“We have made recovery of Rs 265 m, which has been handed over to APO and investigations are going on to trace and get back the remaining amount,” an Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official told Senate body, which was chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla.
Among others, the meeting was attended by senators Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Ms Ayesha Raza Farooq, Saud Majeed and Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hussaini.
It may be mentioned that the amount was transacted from the APO account in National Bank of Pakistan to a fraudulent account in Habib Bank Limited (HBL) through many transactions, facilitated by officials of both the banks.
The FIA representative informed the committee that so far 47 properties, where this amount was invested, had been confiscated by the agency, including 22 in Bharia Town, and others in Defence and other localities.
He said the investigation was going on. One of the accused,
who had got possession of about Rs 280 million, had passed away, and
the Agency had traced that the amount was initially transacted in his friend’s account and then transferred to his account.
Th official admitted that the Agency did not trace out any trail of the accused. However, investigation against two officials of NBP and HBL, who were found directly involved, was going on.
The NBP President informed the committee that the person, Ms
Sadaf Siddiqi, who was directly involved in the scam, was terminated. Similarly, an HBL representative also apprised the body that the bank
had not only terminated the person directly involved in the scam, but also dismissed other senior officials for negligence.
The HBL representative said concrete measures had been taken to check such fraudulent scams in future.
Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, while responding to alleged scam of Rs 12 billion in United Bank Limited, said that only Rs 33 million loss was inflicted through trading of illiquid shares.
He informed the committee that the issue of paying back the money of Qarz Utaro Mulk Snwaro scheme had already been settled.
Meanwhile, after reading some more clauses of the Companies Bill 2017, the committee deferred the discussion for next meeting scheduled on Thursday.
Earlier, the finance ministry representatives briefed the committee on budgetary allocation and its utilization, saying that out of the total Rs 1.617 billion allocations, the ministry had spent Rs 797 million up to February 2017.
The total allocations included Rs 1.569 billion actual allocations and Rs 48 million supplementary grants, they added.
On the automation project of Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), the ministry representative said that so far 230 centers of the directorate had been automated while work on 147 was underway.
The committee directed the finance ministry to provide detailed status of budgetary expenditures made so far.
The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) representative also gave a briefing on the budgetary allocations and its utilization to the committee, saying that 58 percent funds had been utilized so far.
Meanwhile, discussing the Revenue Division’s budgetary allocations and utilization, the committee members were of the view that the division should be abolished or made properly functional as the functions it was supposed to do were being executed by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).