Raisani spills beans, more arrests on cards | Pakistan Today

Raisani spills beans, more arrests on cards

  • Senior political figure, 11 others may be arrested soon
  • Khalid Lango to be probed, name included in ECL

Under arrest secretary finance Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani during initial interrogation has confessed to corruption charges against him and disclosed names of 11 close aides, including at least one senior political figure involved in mega corruption in the province.

Sources said a political figure is likely to be arrested in the aftermath of the revelations.

According to sources in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Advisor finance Khalid Lango, who resigned after Raisani’s arrest, is expected to be included in investigation and his name is likely to be placed in the Exit Control List (ECL) to stop him from fleeing the country, NAB sources said.

NAB sources revealed that five to six well-placed officers in the finance department, among others, were likely to be arrested soon but provided no details about names of the officers. They also claimed that the accused secretary had made revelations with regards to a commissions and kickbacks racket in government departments.

Following the interrogation, NAB has taken all records of development projects from the finance and local government departments, as well as certain banks, into its custody.

“Arrests are likely to be made but I cannot share details at this point in time,” Director General NAB Balochistan Tariq Mehmood Malik said on Sunday. He revealed that currently 150 cases of corruption worth billions of rupees are being investigated in Balochistan.

When asked about investigation against legislators, he said “investigation is underway against some former and some serving provincial ministers”.

According to sources Raisani disclosed during interrogation that the money recovered from his home was to be sent outside the country through hundi.

NAB has initiated action for the arrest of Raisani’s accomplices but no arrest has been made yet. Sources said that 11 accomplices of Raisani, all of them government officials, have been identified.

Raisani has been sent into NAB custody on a 14-day remand.

An influential bureaucrat in Balochistan, Raisani has served as finance secretary for the last few years including during the regime of Dr Malik Baloch. He was granted this key position on the recommendation of National Party Chief Mir Hasil Bazanjo.

Senior NAB officials have been probing Raisani’s involvement in corruption of over Rs 40 billion. The former finance secretary was picked up from his residence by NAB officials on Friday and Rs 730 million was recovered from his home.

Following the interrogation, NAB has taken all records of development projects from the finance and local government departments, as well as certain banks, into its custody.

CORRUPTION IN BALOCHISTAN:

Poor governance and transparency in Balochistan remain a pressing issue. Former Balochistan chief minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch repeatedly spoke about improvement in governance during his turn at the helm, but the accused, Raisani, remained secretary finance during his tenure.

“I demand ruthless accountability and offer myself for accountability,” Baloch said after the mega-corruption scandal came to light.

The abrupt arrest of a serving Grade 21 officer has set off alarm bells in bureaucratic circles. On Sunday, a large number of officers including provincial secretaries, additional secretaries, deputy secretaries and section officers from Balochistan put their heads together in order to stop what they termed ‘political transfers and postings in government departments’.

Some of the officers expressed reservations and apprehensions with regard to the arrest of Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani, local media said quoting an unnamed source.

Earlier, during Friday’s raid, NAB officials faced resistance in the Finance Secretariat from other officials who tried to help the finance secretary escape by switching off lights.



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