Heavy Electrical Complex sale: PC lodges criminal complaint against HEC bidder

Company adviser had submitted a Rs225 million cheque which was dishonoured

Shahbaz Rana November 28, 2015
PC Director General Anwar Malik was accused of attempting to manipulate the transaction and he allegedly received money from the bidder. PHOTO: FILE


The Privatisation Commission (PC) has lodged a criminal complaint against a British national, Syed Sabur Rehman, for submitting a Rs225 million cheque for the purchase of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC), but it could not be cashed as the account had not that much money.

Apart from this, the PC has expelled its official who tried to manipulate the deal allegedly in return for kickbacks.

The commission has registered First Information Report (FIR) against Rehman, the adviser of Kenya-based Cargill Holdings Limited that offered a Rs250-million bid for HEC but subsequently its Rs225 million cheque was dishonoured.

The bank returned the cheque on May 21, resulting in cancellation of the deal.

After the PC revoked the deal, the bidder forfeited Rs25 million worth of earnest money. Cargill Holdings went to the Islamabad High Court and got a stay order. The court on Friday vacated the stay order and the same day the commission registered the FIR.

“The vacation of stay order and registration of an FIR vindicates the PC’s stance that it took in handling the transaction,” said Mohammad Zubair, PC Chairman, while talking to The Express Tribune.

Rehman was born in Lahore and is now a British citizen, according to the passport copy he submitted with the PC at the time of bidding.

PC’s action

The FIR has been registered at Aabpara Police Station, Islamabad under Section 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860. Section 489-F deals with dishonestly issuing a cheque in a financial transaction and if the crime is established the court can give a jail term of up to three years or impose a fine or both can be awarded.

The PC also sent Director General Anwar Malik to his parent department, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, according to an official of the commission. Malik served in the PC for about two years.

Zubair insisted that Malik’s transfer was a routine matter and there was nothing significant in it.

Malik was accused of attempting to manipulate the transaction and receiving money from the bidder, according to sources privy to investigations. They said Malik had developed relations with the bidder and held many meetings, some of them apparently without the knowledge of top PC management.

Malik visited Kenya last year and had meetings with officials of Cargill Holdings, said the sources. Cargill Holdings was registered in Kenya on December 10 last year, a day after the government decided to re-advertise the HEC for privatisation after making three unsuccessful attempts earlier.

Zubair said a single person cannot influence the privatisation process, as there were many checks and balances, starting from the commission to the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation.

Shady deal

Many believe that the Rs250 million offered by Cargill Holdings for HEC was not the right price. The financial advisers had priced the enterprise at Rs1.5 billion.

The PC management insists the privatisation transaction was free of any wrongdoing, as no loss was inflicted on the state, while Rs25 million of the bidder was forfeited.

Sources said action would be taken against those who tried to influence the HEC deal.

The Express Tribune made several attempts to contact Anwar Malik, but he did not respond.

An email correspondence apparently showed a link between Syed Sabur Rehman and Malik.

Rehman sent the mail to PC officials on September 18. Referring to a meeting held on September 8, Rehman complained that Malik ditched him on the issue of media advertisement that Cargill had given on his request.

He complained that Malik and Azeem Hayee, a PC official and HEC transaction manager, requested him to give an advertisement in newspapers clarifying Cargill Holdings’ registration and the amount at which it was sold and the issue of liability.

However, PC officials insisted that Hayee was not involved in any wrongdoing.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2015.

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Rumormonger | 8 years ago | Reply Till the cheque bounced, the PC was defending their decision tooth and nail.
Iqbal Aftab | 8 years ago | Reply Nobody! No Body, I mean it! Never involves in any wrong doings in Pakistan! And nobody knows where this wrong interpretations comes from! The Pakistani Government Servants never done anything Wrong! If everyone has to be exonerated in the End then No Wrongdoing! No Deal, No Involvement, No Case, No Wrong Doing!
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