NAB opens Sharif family Sugar Mills cases

NAB opens Sharif family Sugar Mills cases

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has extended the scope of its investigation to the Sharif family’s sugar mill—Abdullah Sugar Mill Ltd— over the allegations of creating a monopoly in the market, taking advantages from the Punjab government, and causing heavy loss to the national exchequer, it was learnt.

NAB, in this regard, has so far summoned chief executive officer (CEO) of the Abdullah Sugar Mills Ltd and is likely to summon more of its staffers, besides thorough scrutiny of the mill’s record in the near future.

Informed sources also told Pakistan Today that Abdullah Sugar Mills allegedly caused more than Rs 510 million heavy losses to the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) by not supplying sugar; despite making all-out efforts, the TCP could neither obtain sugar nor the said amount from the mill.

NAB’s call-up notice, copy available with Pakistan Today, stated that Abdullah Sugar Mills CEO was asked to appear before the bureau, and present a complete record of participation and performance of TCP tenders NO.SPB-1/2007.SPB-3/2007.SPB-4/2007 along with a complete and detailed map of Abdullah Sugar Mills Ltd, as in 2007 to 2011. The bureau also wanted list and record of all the pledges, hypothecation or other charges the mill entered into, from 2006 to 2010.

NAB notice further reveal that CEO was asked to provide complete detail and record of delivery of sugar to TCP or its nominated persons/organisations in pursuance of above-mentioned tenders of the TCP. Similarly, the bureau asked for a list of cases, surveyors and other persons appointed by the TCP as a result of the afore-mentioned tenders. All/any other document related to the above-mentioned matter in support of your plea, said the call-up notice.

“You are advised that failure to comply with this notice may entail penalty consequences as provided at serial No.2 of the schedule of NAO, 199.”

The sources further said that NAB headquarter had allegedly pressured the officials of the bureau whosoever dared to initiate an enquiry against the sugar mills of Sharif family in the past.

“In past, the officials who tried to pursue enquiry against the mill were pressurised by the NAB headquarters, which subsequently resulted in their transfers,” the source said, adding the things were different this time as the NAB DG Saleem Shehzad advised the officials to initiate enquiries against the accused with no fear.

The sugar mill owned by the Sharif family has also come under scrutiny for gaining favours from the provincial government and creating a monopoly in the market that caused heavy losses to the national kitty, the source said.

They stated that NAB officials were mulling to launch an enquiry against issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) to the five sugar mills of Sharif family for shifting them to new locations in south Punjab.

It is pertinent to mention that audit officials have already raised the matter of loss to the national exchequer by Abdullah Sugar Mills Ltd in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).