Former OGRA chairman Tauqir Sadiq was on Tuesday sent on remanded in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody hours after he was brought back to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to face the Rs 82 billion corruption allegations.
Amid tight security, NAB’s investigators presented Sadiq before the Islamabad Accountability Court.
During the hearing of the case, Sadiq pretended that he was being callously tortured by NAB investigator Waqas Khan, a charge straight away denied by Khan.
NAB investigator requested the court to grant 14-days physical remand of the accused so that he could be grilled for his alleged involvement in Rs 82 million corruption case.
After being convinced of NAB investigators’ plea, Accountability Judge Muhamamd Bashir granted 14-days physical remand of the accused, directing NAB to again produce him on July 23.
During the hearing, NAB investigator told the court that Sadiq had initially escaped to Afghanistan in a rickshaw. “He hired a rickshaw from Peshawar to Afghanistan.” Last night, Interpol handed NAB the physical custody of the accused in Dubai.
And on Tuesday morning, NAB’s team brought the accused back to Pakistan.
In a short media talk, Waqas Khan said Interpol officials advised the NAB team to be careful while handling the accused.
To a query, the NAB investigator said since his arrest, the accused was trying to confuse the investigators while giving vague information.
He said NAB found contact numbers of some foreigners, including Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese, from the accused. “We will look into these numbers too,” he added.
To a query, a source in the NAB said the accused used the contacts for money laundering. He said that during the investigations, the accused would be grilled about his international contacts.
Declaring his appointment as OGRA chief illegal on November 25, 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered NAB to arrest Sadiq.
However, Sadiq, who is a close relative of PPP senior leader Jahangir Badr, managed to flee in connivance with some influential politicians despite the fact that his name was on the Exit Control List. He was later declared a proclaimed offender.
The former OGRA chairman is accused of converting the operating income of two public utilities — the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company — into non-operating income, resulting in a Rs 38 billion additional burden on consumers and eroding the gas development surcharge. He is also accused of receiving heavy kick backs from various projects in OGRA.
I seriously doubt if anything will come out of this. Like all other high profile cases, SC will drag this on forever while boasting of metting out justice to all. CJP can be bought and his price is going down since he will be retiring soon.
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