The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) Islamabad conducted raids at four workshops in Islamabad and Taxila and recovered hundreds of transformers and other equipment of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO).
The FIA team led by Deputy Director Rana Shahid Habib conducted raids in both areas and recovered a large number of transformers, precious oil and copper coils and substandard silver coils, which were being installed in the IESCO transformers.
FIA officials said that valuable copper and oil were being stolen from IESCO transformers by the workshop owners. They said that valuable copper coils and oil of transformers were being replaced by substandard oil and silver coils.
The FIA team said that the workshop owners with the alleged connivance of IESCO officials and employees were doing all the murky business. They said that original IESCO transformers were also being sold in the market while faulty and second-hand transformers were being returned to the IESCO.
Interestingly, the IESCO spokesperson claimed that they send transformers to workshops under a proper procedure and with due permission of X-ENs, he was not sure whether the workshops, which were raided by the FIA, had the approval and NOCs to repair IESCO transformers. He said that the matter has been brought to the notice of the high-ups for further action.
The FIA officials said that substandard transformers with silver coils often malfunction, leading to line losses and trippings, causing millions of rupees in losses to the national exchequer.
The FIA team said that this malpractice and the sale of transformers and precious copper coils and oil were causing colossal losses to the IESCO and the government, which is struggling to cope with power shortages and load-shedding.
The FIA sources said that the workshop owners were also giving financial benefits to the IESCO officials. Separate cases have been registered against the four workshop owners and an investigation is under way.
FIA Deputy Director Rana Shahid Habib said that strict legal action will be taken against IESCO officials and workers for their alleged involvement in the heinous crime.
ISCO spokesman Raja Asim said that IESCO faulty transformers were sent to ‘approved’ workshops. He said that when a faulty transformer is sent for repair, a regular record is kept and an NOC is sought from the XEN of the sub-division concerned. He said that the matter has been brought to the notice of the IESCO chief executive.
He said that if ISCO officials or employees were found involved in the illegality, “strict action” will be taken against them.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2023.
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