The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Wednesday arrested senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah in the assets beyond means case. According to an official statement of the anti-graft body, the NAB Sukkur has arrested Shah in the assets beyond means case. The accused will be produced before an accountability court in Sukkur for obtaining his physical remand, it said.
The NAB sources said that the NAB Rawalpindi and Sukkur teams arrested Shah from his residence in Bani Gala, Islamabad. Later, his medical examination was conducted at Polyclinic Hospital, Islamabad. The PPP leader was summoned by NAB Sukkur to appear before it in connection with the same case but Shah through a letter informed the investigators that he is in Islamabad for attending National Assembly session and, therefore, is unable to appear before it.
Sources said that investigations against Shah were started on August 7 and he had allegedly allotted himself an amnesty plot illegally in a cooperative society in Sukkur. The investigations revealed that Shah has allegedly constructed bungalows, petrol pumps and hotels in the name of other people (Benamidar). The NAB's Executive Board Meeting (EBM) presided over by NAB Chairman Justice Javed Iqbal (retd) on August 7 approved a corruption inquiry against PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah.
They said that Shah owns assets worth billions of rupees registered in the names of his alleged front men. Shah operates as many as 105 bank accounts in his and other family members' names in Karachi, Sukkur and other cities, they said. According to NAB, Shah's properties are located in Sukkur, Rohri and Karachi. Over 83 properties are allegedly registered against the names of Shah's alleged front man Pehlaj Rai. Another 11 properties are registered in the name of another front man, Lado Mall, and 10 properties are registered in the name of Hussain Soomro, they maintained. Later, a statement issued by the NAB said that an inquiry u/s 18 (c) has been authorized against Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah and others by Director General NAB Sukkur. The inquiry conducted against Shah and others has so far revealed involvement of Shah in the commission of offences as defined under section 9(a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.
Following facts form basis for his immediate arrest: a) That he being a public office holder got transferred an amenity plot at Professors' Cooperative Housing Society Sukkur, measuring approximately 2,930 sq yards meant for school in the name of his dependents, ie, his wives and his son to build up his palatial house. This huge structure has been built by using funds not commensurate with his known sources of income and the dependents did not have their own sources of income to finance such huge construction.
b) That in order to conceal his title the accused managed to make transactions in the name of his Benamidars and has later on built a palatial house. The amenity plot has been converted into 4 x residential plots, Ie, 176 (781.5 sq yards), 177 (692.7 sq yards), 178 (757.6 sq yards) and179 (671.5 sq yards).
c) That the complainant has leveled other numerous serious allegations regarding accumulation of illegal assets by the accused and categorically mentioned Benamidars with their details. It has been alleged that the following valuable properties, inter alia, are held by the accused in the name of his Benamidars: I. New Taj Hotel Shikarpur Road Sukkur, worth 250 million in the name of Aijaz Baloch (front man/Benamidar); II. A petrol pump, worth millions of rupees, at Rohri Road in the name of Qasim Shah (front man/Benamidar); III. A bungalow in the name of Pappu Mahar (front man/Benamidar) on government land; IV. Gulf Hotel constructed in Rohri in the name of his Benamidar.
It has been further alleged that the accused used his official influence for securing huge contracts for his partners and agents including M/s Umar Jan & Co and Nawab and Co where the accused Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah is the ultimate beneficiary. The accused used these illegal funds to accumulate assets. Record has been requisitioned regarding huge contracts worth billions of rupees that have been awarded to front men of the accused. Furthermore, a number of businesses are being run in the name of Benamidars.
As per the NAB, keeping in view the influence of the accused it is apprehended that the witnesses Benamidars will not reveal true facts if the accused remains un-arrested. Further, absconding of the accused is also apprehended. Therefore, his arrest warrants may be issued to proceed further in the matter.