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Business & Finance

Reko Diq Case: NAB unearths corruption to the tune of billions

  • In a statement, the spokesperson revealed that serious irregularities were also found in the allotment of land and other matters by the officials of the finance department, and the accused also confessed to taking financial benefits in this regard.
05 Nov 2020

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Balochistan has collected irrefutable evidence revealing that billions of rupees have been lost to the national exchequer in the Reko Diq project after the bureau scrutinized its 30-year record.

According to the NAB spokesperson, an agreement was reached in 1993 between the Balochistan Development Authority and an Australian company called Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) for Chaghi Hills Exploration Joint Venture in which the Australian company was illegally benefited by Balochistan government officials, especially Balochistan Development Authority officials.

In a statement, the spokesperson revealed that serious irregularities were also found in the allotment of land and other matters by the officials of the finance department, and the accused also confessed to taking financial benefits in this regard.

The spokesperson further said that the examination of records and the statements of witnesses revealed the fact that TCC operatives were found to be involved in bribing government employees and taking illicit interests, due to the same corrupt elements.

In 2012, TCC filed claims for international arbitration before the ICSID of the World Bank, after the Balochistan government turned down a leasing request from the company. The litigation has continued for seven years.

The World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 13, 2019, announced a 700-page judgment regarding a $5.976 billion (Rs 944.21 billion) award against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case.

The ICSID award includes a $4.08 billion penalties and $1.87 billion in interest to TCC, a joint venture between Chile's Antofagasta Plc and Canada's Barrick Gold, the Chilean miner. However, in September this year, ICSID granted a stay on the enforcement of the $6 billion award issued against Pakistan in the Reko Diq dispute.

Following the approval of NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal, a reference has been filed in the Quetta Accountability Court in the light of irrefutable evidence against 26 persons, including former Balochistan government officials.