Former management of the National Fertiliser Corporation (NFC) and its sister concern the National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML) allegedly misappropriated over 78,000 bags of urea worth Rs35 billion, in connivance with the carriage contractors of imported urea fertiliser, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The multibillion-rupee scandal was unearthed by the FIA, and a case is likely to be registered at the FIA Corporate Crime Circle police station.
However, fearing that the accused might try to flee the country, the FIA has asked the interior ministry to place the names of the 14 persons involved in the scam on the exit control list (ECL), sources told The Express Tribune.
Following their alleged involvement in the scam, two officials of the NFML – Lt-Col (Retd) Ikramul Haq and Hamid Pervez – have been terminated while a third official Fateh Muhammad has been given a golden handshake.
Whereas, despite his alleged involvement, Regional Manager Abdul Ghaffar continues to enjoy the perks and privileges, sources said.
After confiscating relevant records pertaining to the case, the FIA has launched a crackdown on more stores in Punjab.
The FIA began the probe on the directives of the Supreme Court and has submitted a report before the apex court in this regard.
Sources said that the total volume of the fraud in terms of the misappropriated Urea imported during July 2008 and December 2010 is expected to reach Rs27 billion. They added that the ‘mafia’ has so far imported a total of 2.5 million tons of Urea fertiliser worth $1 billion, and of the total amount of imported Urea, 40 per cent has not been delivered at the NFML stores, or at the mobile stores located in different areas of the country.
A large chunk of the imported Urea has been misappropriated by more than 10 persons including Ahmad Shahzad, Khawaja Akbar, Faisal Shahzad and Mazhar among others.
According to the sources, these persons, in connivance with the NFML officials, not only misappropriated huge quantities of Urea before the consignment reached its destination, but also succeeded in receiving payments under the pretext of carriage and labour handling charges.
Not only that, but the ‘mafia’ also stored these consignments with their own dealers/agencies and at the warehouses of agencies belonging to some of their close aides in order to create an artificial shortage, and extorted more money from the farmers on account of black marketing.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.
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