Over 900 people had invested their savings in the Telegraph and Telephone Employees’ Cooperative Housing Society only to know after 27 years that the society’s previous management had not even purchased land for the project.
These and other irregularities were detected in the society’s record last year.
Documents showed misappropriations amounting to more than Rs400 million allegedly by the former president of the society Chaudhry Masood Ahmed and his accomplices.
Ahmed was appointed for-life president of the society in 1981 at the time of its registration.
However, he was removed from the position on January 1 this year following an audit of the society’s accounts which was conducted in April last year. Subsequent inquiries into its financial records showed massive embezzlement of funds. The society has also been served a show-cause notice.
The special audit for 2004-2009 was carried out by Shehzad Malik and Company of Rawalpindi on the orders of the office of Circle Registrar, after several society members lodged complaints with the deputy commissioner of Islamabad.
The deputy registrar, Islamabad, appointed Circle Registrar (Cooperative) as administrator of the society via a notification. He was also instructed to look into the matters relating to irregularities and take legal action against those responsible, including listing names of people responsible for financial irregularities on the exit control list (ECL) and getting criminal cases registered against them.
“The people who had invested their money were calling every day and were anxious to know about the status of development work. They also wanted to get possession of their property,”’ said a member of the society.
The decision was taken after a judicial inquiry, led by Assistant Commissioner (Industrial Area) Asim Ayub, determined on February 26 that Ahmed and others were responsible for the embezzlement.
Sources said more than 30 per cent of the 950 affected people were sitting or former employees of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority who purchased a kanal of land for Rs1.2 million back in 1981. The current value of the same land is estimated to be well over Rs3 million.
Some of the members of the society told The Express Tribune that Ahmed and his associates spent just Rs100 million acquiring small scattered pieces of land without carrying out any development work.
Instead, they said, Ahmed had granted lucrative projects to firms run by his relatives, including his son and son-in-law.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2011.
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