ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) launched a probe against the National Testing Service (NTS), which is still reeling under simultaneous probes initiated by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
NTS has yet to recover from the October 30 FBR raid, halting the testing service’s operations. The FBR team seized main NTS servers for probing its operational activities, while personal computers of senior management were also confiscated.
Subsequently, NTS filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the raid, terming it ‘illegal’.
On November 3, FIA’s cyber crime team from Sindh arrived at the NTS headquarters, inquiring its staffers about the leaked question paper of medical colleges.
The testing service refuted any such leakage and viewed it as “conspiracy by some of its former employees, including some veteran politicians of the province, for settling personal scores”.
Medical tests: NTS lands in hot water again as allegations emerge
Earlier, a report prepared by FIA’s cyber crime wing showed that the NTS paper for admission to medical colleges in Sindh was leaked “10 hours before the test”.
Interestingly, the testing body is functioning without a CEO since June last year when the then head Haroon Rashid was removed on charges of plagiarising the thesis of his PhD degree in 2006.
According to the FIA report, the incident occurred on October 21.
“The FIA team questioned officers in the operations section of the service and inquired about several issues and sought information regarding the leaked paper,” said a source inside the NTS.
Sources also confirmed that the NTS management recently changed its team in Sindh on charges of corruption and leakage of papers.
Subsequently, some employees working at NTS headquarters in Islamabad were also removed from their positions.
Also on November 3, the Sindh High Court (SHC) also sought details from the NTS, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and heads of medical colleges in province, seeking a reply by October 21.
Three members of the NTS board of directors (also staffers of Comsats Institute of Information Technology) including top management of the NTS were summoned on Wednesday and Thursday.
Misuse of authority: Man with many hats siphoned off millions
CIIT’s Registrar Izhar Hussain, Controller Examination Sohail Ghani and the university’s Islamabad campus in-charge were probed by the FBR team about the financial details of the NTS.
In a statement the FBR stated that NTS’ board of directors was under scrutiny because of discrepancies in “sources of investment and their declarations also did not match.”
Two key persons, involved in the NTS scandal — CIIT’s executive director Junaid Zaidi and a former pro-rector Haroon Rashid, who was also the chief executive of NTS — did not show up.
The FBR is also looking into undisclosed foreign currency accounts and non-payment of taxes.
It also found massive discrepancies in the financial affairs of NTS.
FBR raided NTS headquarters on October 30 and took away main servers and personal computers of NTS’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) and acting chief executive officer (CEO) Sherzada Khan.
Similarly, the follow-up meeting on auditor general’s objections on the financial and administrative affairs of NTS was delayed.
CIIT’s board of governors directed the HEC to request the auditor-general to conduct a complete audit of the NTS.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ