Matiari deputy commissioner arrested over Rs1.75bn corruption scandal

KARACHI: Deputy commissioner of Matiari district in Sindh, Adnan Rashid, has been arrested by an anti-corruption team over alleged corruption in funds reserved for the procurement of land for the M-6 motorway connecting the cities of Sukkur and Hyderabad.

The arrest came after the chief secretary of Sindh initiated an inquiry into the scandal. The team dispatched from Hyderabad to arrest Rashid also searched his official residence and is said to have seized important documents related to the procurement process.

According to documents, the National Highway Authority (NHA) released Rs4.09 billion to Rashid’s office for the purchase of the land. He, however, withdrew Rs1.82 billion to acquire a 70-kilometre long patch.

Rashid then wired Rs4 billion to another account and, in the process, embezzled Rs540 million. Mansoor Abbasi, assistant commissioner of New Saeedabad tehsil of Matiari, paid cash, instead of the standard practise of cheques, to the sellers.

Apparently, instead of paying the money by cross cheques, the suspects withdrew the money in their own names, according to an initial inquiry.

According to a notification, Rashid was removed from the post hours before his arrest, and later terminated from service. He is accused of misappropriating at least Rs1.75 billion from the money. Abbasi has also been suspended.

“Rashid has been detained and will be produced in a court later today to secure his physical remand,” people familiar with the development said.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of Nawabshah, Shaharyar Memon, has been given additional charge of the post.



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