Corruption: Two arrested for Utility Store racket

Published: February 20, 2012
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The FIA team has concluded
that the gang had created an
artificial shortage of sugar and
had been selling subsidised
sugar to hoarders and vendors
instead at open market rates.

The FIA team has concluded that the gang had created an artificial shortage of sugar and had been selling subsidised sugar to hoarders and vendors instead at open market rates.

LAHORE: Two people were arrested on Sunday by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for misappropriating Utility Stores Corporation (USC) sugar.

Green Town Utility Store in charge Muhammad Azam and Muhammad Rasheed, who allegedly helped him sell USC supplies in black market, have also been accused of hoarding.

The FIA officials, who made the arrests, also sized 1,600 kilograms of sugar, a Suzuki pick up van and Rs42,000.

Following the FIA raid at the shop and the arrests, USC Zonal Manager Faizan Hameed suspended the USC Area Manager Rai Iftikhar for poor oversight.

According to the FIA officials, the arrested store in charge, had originally been hired as a helper. However, he has been working as the store in charge allegedly with the connivance of some senior USC officers.

The zonal manager said that a departmental inquiry had been initiated to determine how many and which officers were involved in the racket. He said Regional Manager Zahoor Islam was also being investigated.

The FIA team has concluded that the gang had created an artificial shortage of sugar and had been selling subsidised sugar to hoarders and vendors instead at open market rates.

They said several complaints had been received in this regard by FIA Director (Punjab) Waqar Haider, who had then directed Deputy Director (corporate crime circle) Syed Javed Shah to constitute a team to hold the inquiry.

The FIA later produced the suspects before a judicial magistrate on Sunday and obtained a two-day physical remand.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.

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