Five education department officials, including a director, have been arrested on charges of embezzling millions of rupees allocated for a project of vocational and technical training.
“We have so far been able to collect evidence of corruption of over Rs20 million,” a senior FIA official told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity. The money was allocated for a project of the National Vocational & Technical Training Commission, launched by the federal government in seven districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Planning Director Syed Abedin, Faizullah Baig, Syed Nabi Shah and Abdul Mueen are among the ones accused of fraud. The FIA nabbed them on Wednesday when most of them were at their office. A contractor named Salam Jan is also among those arrested. “Three others have yet to be arrested. They have escaped but we are after them,” the FIA official said.
A court granted investigators a four-day physical remand of the accused on Thursday.
According to another source, the accused have also taken away computers, chairs and tables from the vocational training offices set up in remote districts for the sponsors.
Corruption in the G-B education department has been rampant in the recent past. In November 2013, Director of Academics Raja Nasir and Deputy Director Mirbaz Ali Faraz were sacked after it was proved that they illegally appointed 183 teachers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.