Pakistan PPP leader held in land fraud

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Islamabad,(UNI): Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested former chief of the Evacuee Trust Pro­perty Board (ETPB) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Asif Akhtar Hashmi in a land fraud case.

“On Wednesday, an FIA anti-corruption team arrested ex-ETPB chairman Asif Hashmi for his direct involvement in misappropriating 13 kanals of prime urban land in Gujrat worth Rs135 million,” a senior official told Dawn.

“Hashmi was also involved in 12 other cases of misappropriation of federal government land and embezzlement of public funds, and suspected to be involved in laundering of crime proceeds locally and abroad,” he said, adding that a special team was conducting a detailed probe into the matter.

According to the report, Hashmi will be tried in 16 cases by the National Accounta­bility Bureau (NAB) and FIA. He had secured bail in 14 of these cases and was acquitted in one. The FIA arrested him in the 16th case.

The PPP leader was arrested by Pakistan’s accountability bureau on his return from the UAE last year.

The leader is accused of misusing his authority and misappropriating public funds. NAB also accused him of selling 1,946 kanals of the board to the DHA at a throwaway price, reports Dawn.

He is also accused of making illegal investments worth Rs1,870m with a private company that caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

The leader had served as chairman of the ETPB from 2008 to 2013 in the Yousuf Raza Gilani tenure. He was considered ‘very close’ to the then prime minister.

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