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FBR chief figures in report on Rs9bn Pakistan bank loan scam


April 8, 2011 - Islamabad

Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Salman Siddique has been accused of approving unlawful credit proposals of 1.1 billion rupees in July 2006 in a report submitted by the Punjab Government to the Supreme court on the nine-billion-rupee Bank of Punjab (BoP) loan scam.

"Salman Siddique, as one of the two directors of the bank, approved the unlawful credit proposals amounting to Rs1,175 million in July 2006 on behalf of the board (board of directors of the BoP)," The Dawn quoted the report prepared by Additional Inspector General Aftab Sultan, as saying.

On June 18, 2010, the Supreme court had appointed Sultan as the head of a team set up to look into irregularities in the bank because the court was not satisfied with the investigations conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had observed during an earlier hearing that irregularities of another 17 billion rupees had been detected and that the court was determined to recover the looted money.

He had also observed that the report compiled by the investigation team had pointed the finger at many influential people.

On Thursday, the case was fixed before a three-judge bench headed by the chief justice, and the report alleged that Siddique had signed a proposal for enhancing the credit limits of the older accounts of Sheikh Mohammad Afzal, the principal accused in the scam, to adjust the liability of his string of fake accounts. The other director was Shahzad Ali Malik, who also signed the proposal.

Afzal, who was arrested in Malaysia last year with the help of Interpol and brought back to Pakistan, had confessed to having bought a whole lot of 'worthy' people to enable him to get out of the country despite his name being included on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Afzal alleged that he had paid over 50 million rupees to Law Minister Babar Awan, 20 million rupees to former Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum and 7.5 million rupees to Ali Waseem, son of Senator Waseem Sajjad, to win a court verdict in his favour.

ANI

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