NAB arrests Pakistan's ex-Railway Minister in connection with housing scam
Pakistan's former Railway Minister and his brother were arrested today by the country's anti-graft body for their alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar housing scam, amid protests by the PML-N workers. Khawaja Saad Rafique, a close aide of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, and his brother Salman Rafique, a former minister in the Punjab province government, were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) today.
Rafique brothers were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after the Lahore HC rejected their bail application. NAB spokesperson Nawazish Ali Asim said Rafique brothers have been arrested for "taking financial benefits" in Lahore's Paragon Housing Society. The official said the suspects were also "beneficial owners" of the housing scheme, Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd, launched in 2005 on the basis of fabricated documents.
According to the spokesperson, the business partner of Rafique brothers, Qasim Amin Butt has turned approver in the case. "Rafique brothers, along with Butt, in connivance with one Nadeem Zia and other launched an illegal housing scheme with alleged approvals from Town Municipal Administration (TMA) Aziz Bhatti Town, Lahore," he said. All TMA-approved housing schemes were transferred to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) in 2013.
However, the records of the Paragon Housing Society were intentionally not handed over to the LDA by the suspects, the spokesperson alleged. The NAB said the Paragon City Housing Society hasn't yet been approved by LDA. Butt is in jail while Nadeem Zia is reported to have fled to the US. Meanwhile, workers from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz protested against the arrest outside HC premises.