NAB probe reveals commercial usage of KP govt helicopter: sources

NAB probe reveals commercial usage of KP govt helicopter: sources
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PESHAWAR: A NAB probe into PTI Chairperson Imran Khan’s use of KP government’s helicopter has found the aircraft was also used for commercial purposes, sources within NAB informed Geo News.

Sources further said that the documents provided to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Administration confirmed that the aircraft was used for commercial purposes.

A decision was later made to extend the probe's covered time till 2007 when it was purchased in November 22, said sources in NAB.

An expense of 175 million rupees will be incurred by the KP government to repair the Mi-17 that has been inoperative since august 2017. According to sources, a repair agreement has been made with a company in Russia.

On March 14, NAB had recorded statements of four administration officers and a civil aviation officer in the province. The administration department had also submitted a list comprising names of people who had travelled in the helicopter. 

Sources had informed Geo News on March 8 that the KP wing of NAB had obtained details of Imran's use of government helicopters from the provincial administration department and the purchase agreement for the helicopters.

The inquiry

The NAB Chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal on February 2 had directed the bureau's KP director general (DG) to conduct an inquiry into Imran's reported use of the KP chief minister's official helicopters.

On January 29, Geo News had reported that the KP government spent millions of rupees on Imran's use of the provincial government's helicopters.

Documents obtained by Geo News from the KP administration department showed that the PTI chairperson used the KP government's helicopters free of charge for a total of 74 hours to travel approximately 18,000 kilometres.

The provincial government recorded in its books a total expense of Rs2.1 million at approximately Rs28,865 per hour for Khan's 40 trips on the two helicopters — an Mi-17 and an Ecureuil.

Similar trips using a private helicopter would have cost the PTI chairperson tens of millions of rupees, according to estimates.

Khan used the Mi-17 for 21 hours 50 minutes on 12 trips amounting to a recorded expense of Rs1,270,307.

Similarly, he used the Ecureuil helicopter 28 times for a total of 52 hours and 5 minutes, amounting to a recorded expense of Rs836,875.

Combined, Khan used both helicopters for a total of 73 hours and 55 minutes, resulting in an expense of Rs2,107,181 recorded by the provincial government.

The PTI chief, whose party governs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used the helicopters to fly to and from Bani Gala, Islamabad, Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swat and Nathiagali, Kohat, Batagram, and Chakdara, among other places.

In its documents, the administration department mentioned the purpose of the flights as "official use and urgent nature of work". APP/AFP

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