LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Special Operation Wing arrested Pakistan Railways’ General Manager (Maintenance and Services) and Additional GM (Mechanical) on Wednesday.
GM Naeem Malik and AGM Mian Ahsan Mahmood are accused of playing a key role in the purchase of spare parts worth $15.6 million for 69 Chinese locomotives. They were a part of a negotiation committee which decided to purchase the spare parts at prices higher than market prices.
Based on a decision by the committee which included the accused, Pakistan Railways had purchased 356 items at a price five times higher than their actual market price. 256 parts had been procured at double the actual price. While 776 items were purchased that were not even needed by the organisation.
The scam surfaced during former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime when around 69 locomotives were purchased from China on supplier’s credit for a sum of $98 million, without any assessment of whether the locomotives were suitable for the Pakistani environment or not.
The NAB has already summoned and recorded statements of former top government functionaries, including former federal minister for railways Javed Ashraf Qazi, former chairman Pakistan Railway Saeeduz Zafar, Hamid Hasan Butt. GM Operations Saeed Akhtar was arrested and is currently in NAB’s custody.
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