Monday 20 May 2019
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The News - 5 days ago

NAB arrests four PR officials in signalling scam

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday arrested four high-ranking officials of the Pakistan Railways and the owner of a private firm accused of embezzling millions in the Railways Signaling System project.The NAB has arrested Project Director Fahim Anwar Shah (Grade-20), former chief signal engineer Attaullah (Grade-20), former financial advisor and chief accounts officer Dr Muhammad Saeed, Deputy Project Director Muhammad Ahmad (BS-18) and M/s Equinox owner Moaz Mohi-ud-Din.As per case details shared by the NAB, the bureau had started investigations into the said scam after a complaint was filed regarding misappropriation of government funds to the tune of millions of rupees. During the probe, it revealed that the Pakistan Railway had awarded four contracts for upgradation/rehabilitation of signaling system. First two agreements were for provision of new signaling system from Lahore to Karachi.In 2016, the contracts amounting to Rs 550 million were awarded to the M/s Equinox for providing signaling system and wayside equipment for Bin Qasim Yard. It is alleged that the contract was maliciously awarded to the said firm in sheer violation of rules and regulations as the firm was registered in Category-5 (C-5) with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), while Category-3 (C-3) was required to get this project. Moreover, the bidding documents were prepared as per the suitability of the M/s Equinox and the required experience was also waived off by the accused officials of the Pakistan Railways.Afterwards, the M/s Equinox provided imported items worth Rs 380 million out of the total contract amount which was Rs 550 million. It is pertinent to mention here that the customs record revealed that these imported items were purchased at a cost of only Rs 97m, thus resultantly the accused caused a loss of approximately Rs 280 million to the exchequer.It has been learnt that the NAB officers investigating the scam are hopeful that during the course of further investigations, some more arrests may be made.The accused will be presented before an accountability court on Thursday (today) for their physical remand.

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