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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court hearing multi-billion rupees fake banks accounts case, on Wednesday, extended physical remand of former executive engineer Agriculture Department Sindh, an accused of misappropriation in Sindh tractor subsidy scam till July 16th.

Accountability Court-I judge Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case, granted nine-day physical remand of accused, Mumtaz Ali, former executive engineer Agriculture Department Sindh, at the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The anti-graft body produced the accused before the court for obtaining their physical remand.

The NAB prosecutor requested the court to extend physical remand of the accused to conduct further investigation from him.

The accused allegedly involved in issuing fake invoice of tractors in the name of farmers, the prosecutor said. The NAB has so far arrested four accused in the same case including Mumtaz Ali, Tara Chandh, Sarwar Bhatti, and Altaf Chachar.

According to the NAB through fake Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs), tractors were released in the name of farmers and then sold in open market.

The accused, Ghulam Sarwar had obtained 450 and Tara Chand 250, which incurred millions of losses to the national exchequer.

According to a joint investigation team (JIT) report on fake accounts, it was found that one of the fake entities (M/s Iqbal Metals belonging to a deceased sanitary worker) was transacting with Orient Automotive Industries (Pvt) Ltd – a tractor manufacturer of Omni Group.

At this, the JIT landed into the investigation of the associated scam vis-à-vis misappropriation by Omni Group of tractors subsidies offered by the government of Sindh through Sindh Bank.

It says that the Sindh government initiated annual tractor subsidy schemes for poor farmers in the years 2013 to 2016.

Total subsidies amounting to Rs1,996.2 million were given.

51 percent of subsidy amounting to Rs1,021.2 million was dished out to tractor manufacturer of Omni Group (IMT & MTW), through a manipulated (queue jumping) technique of first come, first serve.

The report says that Sindh Bank was primarily used to manipulate the allotment of tractors to farmers in collusion with mainly three dealerships viz Tara Chandh, Sarwar Bhatti, and Altaf Chachar.

These dealers would collect CNICs copies of their own persons, make down payment pay orders and deposit with applications to the managers of Sindh Bank prior to the start of the annual scheme, it says.

As per the report, when the annual scheme would be announced, genuine applications were denied on the ground that a requisite number of applications had already been received.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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