Double Shah scam: NAB summons SC lawyer

Accountability officials freeze three accounts on charges of misappropriation.

Asad Kharal January 08, 2011

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Punjab has summoned a Supreme Court advocate, Dr Abdul Basit, in connection with the Double Shah scam on charges of misappropriating Rs33 million, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The lawyer has been told to appear before a NAB inquiry officer on January 11.

Three of the lawyer’s personal and business accounts in the Bank of Punjab and United Bank Limited have been frozen on the request of NAB, Punjab, sources said. The NAB has now served summons through police because Dr Abdul Basit did not appear before the inquiry officer on December 29 last year.

The Investigation Wing-II of NAB, Punjab, initiated an inquiry against Dr Abdul Basit for allegedly stashing Rs33 million of the looted money in his accounts.

During interrogation, Abdul Razaq Dogar, an agent of ‘Double Shah’ the main accused, confessed to receiving Rs180 million from 32 people. He said he subsequently gave Rs33 million to the lawyer.

The scam, perpetrated by ‘Double Shah’ – a fraudster in saintly disguise – deprived 43,000 people of more than Rs1.32 billion on ‘promise’ of returning twice their invested money. Dogar cited an affidavit signed by Dr Basit as “evidence of the transaction”. He has recorded his statement in the accountability court and submitted an affidavit.

Dr Basit has promised to refund the money in his possession to the affected people.

Dogar has returned Rs147 million to NAB by striking a plea bargain. He insists that the money should be recovered from Dr Basit.

The NAB is trying to determine how can the lawyer keep the money and in which capacity will he disburse the money.

NAB officials insist that not only the actual amount, but the lawyer should also pay mark-up on the money because he kept it for over two years.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2011.


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