Reference against Dar: NBP president likely to be indicted on March 12

NAB alleges seven bank accounts were opened in his name to give benefit to Dar and his companies


Rizwan Shehzad March 06, 2018
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court is likely to indict the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president, along with two other accused, for “aiding and abetting” former finance minister Ishaq Dar, whose assets increased 91 times in a short span of time.

The three face trial in a supplementary reference filed against Dar.

On Monday, the court provided copies of the reference and the attached material to NBP President and CEO Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mahmood and one of Dar’s employees since 1991 Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi.

On a previous hearing, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to supply copies of the interim and supplementary references along with the attached material to the respondents on March 5. The court has already declared Dar a proclaimed offender and continues to record evidence in his absence.

In the reference, NAB said the investigation into whether the wife and the children of the principal accused were his dependents or had independent sources of income at the time of acquirement of assets/funds is in progress.

NAB to file supplementary reference against Dar

It revealed that the NBP president was one of the directors of the Hajveri Modaraba Management Company while 7,000 shares in the Hajveri Holding (Pvt) Ltd were also transferred in his favour from the wife of the principal accused.

The reference further read that seven bank accounts were opened in the name of Saeed Ahmed, which were used for the benefit of Dar and his companies. Dar refused to answer the questions or provide information to NAB regarding the amount which is disproportionate with his known sources of income.

According to NAB, the investigation revealed that Naeem Mahmood was one of the directors of the Hajveri Modaraba Management Company along with Dar and Saeed Ahmed. He aided, assisted and abetted Dar in the commission of offence by facilitating him in opening bank accounts, besides acting as introducer of bank account opened in Ahmad’s name.

Court reserves verdict on joint trial plea

NAB said that Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi was a shareholder in the First Hajveri Modaraba and has also been an employee of Dar since 1991. It added the supplementary reference is being filed on the basis of material collected in the course of further investigation, and that it reserves the right to file another supplementary reference in case additional material and assets/funds, which the accused or any person holding assets on his behalf, could not be reasonably held accountable.

The accused persons have been found involved in the commission of offences of corruption and corrupt practices as defined in Sections 9(a)(iv),(v)&(xii), punishable under Sections 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 and Schedule thereto.

On September 27, 2017, the accountability court had indicted Dar for amassing assets beyond his known sources of income and directed the prosecution to produce witnesses and evidence for establishing its case.

Dar had pleaded not guilty and is currently facing the NAB reference filed against him in line with the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 judgment in the Panamagate case.

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