Pakistan Recovers US$1.3 Million from Corruption Suspect

Published: 29 May 2018

NAB Pakistan logoNAB Pakistan logo (from agency website)

By Haroon Janjua

Pakistan's anti-graft authorities recovered on Monday Rs 15 million (US$1.3 million) and a luxurious Toyota Landcruiser from the former head of the Lahore Development Authority, Ahad Cheema, in the eastern city of Lahore.

Cheema was arrested in February under suspicion of misusing his authority and corruption involving a housing project. The case is known as the Ashiana Housing scam, a project of the Punjab government.

Cheema was arrested by National Accountability Bureau, NAB, officials after he failed to respond to two notices they had sent him.

Investigators claim they collected significant evidence of Cheema's involvement in the corruption and illegal allotment of land.

Cheema allegedly received land worth Rs 30 million (US$260,000) from the owners of the firm associated with the housing scheme.

He remained in NAB custody for three months and has been sent to jail for judicial remand on court orders.

NAB opened the investigation last November after receiving several complaints over an ‘illegal deal’ involving acres of land between the Punjab Land Development Company — a government owned company — and some private firms.

Corruption in Pakistan is rampant and the country is listed as one of the most corrupt in the world. Transparency Internationals 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks it 116 out of 180 countries.