Modaraba scam: Regional NAB approves two references against 13 accused


The references have been approved against Mezban Trading Company, accused of looting Rs 2.95 billion and Al-Wasay Group, accused of looting Rs 49 million from the public in the name of fraudulent scheme


National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has approved two more references in multi-billion modaraba (Islamic mode of business) scam against 13 accused, on charges of corruption and corrupt practices and cheating the public at large in the ploy of Islamic mode of investment.

The references have been approved by NAB Rawalpindi Director General (DG) Lieutenant Colonel Shahzad Anwar Bhatti, exercising the powers delegated to him by the NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry under NAB Ordinance 1999.

The first reference has been approved for filing in an accountability court against Ghulam Rasool Ayubi, Muhammad Imran, Hussain Ahmed and Muhammad Khalid.

NAB had received more than 2,800 complaints from the general public involving Rs2.95 billion so far, against Mezban Trading Company Private Limited Chief Executive Ayubi and others.

The investigation into the case revealed that the accused had got a company registered by the name of Mezban Trading Company Private Limited to illegally use it as a modaraba company. They had also got a firm registered by the name of Mezban Store, under which Mezban stores were established at different places. The business of running Mezban stores was used by Mezban Company as a front to cheat the general public in the name of collecting investments. Initially, the accused paid profit to the investors for some time but later defaulted. The so-called profit was not actual profit earned from the business of Mezban stores but was paid out of the investment made by the general public to gain trust. According to reports, the accused have deprived the general public of Rs 2.95 billion so far, and the amount is expected to rise as new complaints continue to pour in.

The second reference in the scam has been approved by NAB DG against nine accused – Shabbir Ahmed, Sajjad Ahmed, Tariq Mehmood, Raja Babar Zaib, Malik Faisal Sultan, Qamar Shehzad, Saifur Rehman, Muhammad Adil and Muhammad Fayaz.

In this case, complaints were received from the general public, alleging therein that Al-Wasay Group Chief Executive Shabbir Ahmed and other co-accused are involved in illegal business of modaraba and have looted Rs 49,065,000 from the general public.

According to reports, Shabbir, a khateeb at Jamia Masjid Al Badar, Model Town, Taxila, had instigated the general public against the modern banking system and profit received on investment with National Saving Center or banks. He had urged them to invest in his ‘halal’ business of modaraba and offered attractive monthly profit to investors. Due to his religious background, he easily gained people’s trust and he then fraudulently convinced them for investment in the name of Modaraba by claiming that he is related to a company namely Mega Links Private Limited, adding that the company was running quarrying and mining business at Islamabad and earning huge profits.

The accused had received heavy investments in the name of modaraba, paid abnormal profits initially but later stopped paying the profit and disappeared.

Presently, NAB is pursuing 81 cases of cheating the public at large by way of illegal modaraba/musharika.

On the directives of the NAB chairman the regional bureaus are actively pursuing cases of looting the public at large, especially the modaraba scam.