- Raiding party also obtains Fawad’s Blackberry’s password, 30 USBs also taken into custody
LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore conducted a raid at the residence of Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and confiscated several items for investigation.
Two laptops, mobile phones, a Blackberry phone and ‘important’ documents were picked up from Fawad’s residence. NAB will conduct forensic audit of the phones and the laptops. Sources reveal that the documents picked up from Fawad’s residence contain crucial information.
NAB officials managed to access one of Fawad’s phones during investigation. A bag filled with 30 USBs was also found and will be sent for testing.
On July 6, the top anti-graft watchdog arrested Nawaz Sharif’s former secretary and close aide Fawad on charges of corruption in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam and 3 other projects.
Fawad, who also served as secretary to former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and was regarded as the most powerful bureaucrat in the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, was summoned by the National Accountability Bureau Lahore (NAB) at least 11 times but he appeared only thrice.
NAB, however, arrested him on Thursday when he appeared before its investigation team at Lahore’s Thokar Niaz Beg complex and could not give ‘satisfactorily answers’ to the questions posed by the investigators in Ashiana-e-Iqbal and other relevant cases.
Fawad is accused of pressuring Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) chief executive officer (CEO) Tahir Khursheed and Project Director Ali Moazzam to cancel the Ashiana contract with Chaudhry Latif and Sons and award it to his blue-eyed contractor, Lahore Casa Developers—a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited.
As a result, the government had to pay Rs5.9 million in compensation to Chaudhry and Sons in 2013. In addition, the cost of the project had also escalated by billions of rupees due to the delay.
Further, he had allegedly concealed the inquiry committee report declaring the award of the contract to Chaudhry Latif and Sons as per the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules. NAB has already investigated former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in this regard.
Listing the corruption charges, NAB officials claimed Fawad had wrongfully awarded the Ashiana contract to ‘favourites’, illegally awarded contracts for nine CNG stations
at the behest of Sprint Energy, a subsidiary of JS Group, by preparing fake NoCs for transfer of sites from one district to another, and also worked in Bank Alfalah from 2005 to 2006, even though the Establishment Division had turned down his request to do so.
Moreover, while being the provincial health secretary, Fawad had acquired six mobile health units which were purchased at a higher-than-market rate.
According to reports, the PLDC had assigned the low-cost housing scheme of the Punjab government to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) through an agreement in January 2015.