Multi-billion scam accused pays Rs 1,000 to flee

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 - 19:20

Islamabad: How much does it take for a Pakistani, accused in a multi-billion rupee scam, to escape the country? It takes a sum of just Rs 1000.

Pakistan`s top accountability body today revealed how a former oil and gas chief allegedly involved in a multi-billion rupee scam, had escaped the country to avoid arrest.

Tauqir Sadiq, the former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), had fled to the UAE in 2012 after the Supreme Court declared his appointment as OGRA chief illegal.

Sadiq, who is accused of being involved in the Rs 82 billion OGRA embezzlement case, was brought back to Pakistan from UAE on Monday night. An accountability court in Islamabad has sent the former chief to a 14-day physical remand.
"During the interrogation, Tauqir Sadiq provided many details of his escape, including the fact that he paid Rs 1000 as bribe to an Afghan official at Kabul airport," a spokesperson of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was quoted as saying by the Dawn daily.

Two former prime minister – Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf – have also been accused of being involved in the "illegal" appointment of Sadiq.

The inquiry into the matter as to how Tauqir Sadiq was able to escape from Pakistan was carried out by one of the senior-most directors-general (DGs) of the bureau.

A local newspaper had reported that the former OGRA chief had to bribe a border guard at Pakistan`s Torkham border with Afghanistan.
The NAB official, however, clarified that, as per the bureau`s investigation, Sadiq bribed officials at Kabul airport, and "not at Torkham, as reported in the media", Dawn report said.

Quoting sources, the report said that during interrogation, Sadiq disclosed that he first travelled to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from where he fled to Afghanistan before finally heading to the UAE.

Sadiq is accused of misusing authority, embezzling funds and causing Rs 82 billion (approximately USD 850 million) losses to the national exchequer by converting operating income (regular income) into non-operating income in violation of an agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, relocating several CNG stations, making illegal appointments, among others.


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First Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 - 19:20

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