ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Sukkur has recovered directly and indirectly Rs10.612 billion in the inquiries of wheat scam related to the Sindh Food Department and theft of wheat of Rs15.85 billion in the province
According to report released by the NAB, on receipt of various complaints and source reports, DG NAB Sukkur authorised over 9 inquiries against officers/officials of Food Department and others on the allegations of misappropriation of wheat stock available at Provisional Reserve Centers (PRCs) in over 9 different districts.
These included Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions, namely Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushehro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Kamber and Shahdadkot.
Various accused applied for plea bargain
Subsequently, separate teams conducted raids in presence of respective judicial magistrates at PRCs of above mentioned districts. It was found that 164,797 million tons of wheat of worth Rs5.355 billion were missing at different PRCs of these districts.
During the course of investigation, various accused persons and mill owners applied for plea bargain u/s 25(b) of NAO 1999 and agreed to return an amount of Rs2.112 billion.
Their plea bargain applications were approved by Accountability Court Sukkur. Moreover, according to NAB, during the course of investigations, it was also revealed that thousands of tons of wheat was dispatched to government godowns at Karachi from the districts.
‘Food department officials involved in wheat scam’
In this regard, relevant record was obtained from concerned districts and Karachi godowns. The record revealed that 22,044 million tons of wheat of worth Rs745.680 million did not reach Karachi. NAB said wheat was also embezzled by the officers/officials of Food Department and others.
In addition to this, NAB Sukkur has also conducted inquiries against the officers/officials of the Food Department. After the authorisation of these inquires, the defaulted flourmill owners have so far paid an amount of Rs8.126 billion, out of total default amount of Rs9.750 billion.
NAB stated that four references have so far been filed in the Accountability Court against officers/officials of Food Department and millowners for recovery of losses. Moreover, remaining references will also be filed before Accountability Court within stipulated time.