Ashiana Housing Scam: Bismillah Engineering CEO remanded into NAB custody

LAHORE: A district court allowed a one-day physical remand of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bismillah Engineering, Shahid Shafiq, into NAB’s custody.

Shafiq’s company was part of the joint venture Lahore Casa Developers that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said was ineligible to receive the contract.

NAB calls Punjab govt allegations in Ahad Cheema case ‘baseless’

The back and forth between NAB and the Punjab government continued today after the former termed the provincial government’s allegations on the apex anti-corruption organisation over former DG LDA Ahad Cheema’s arrest ‘baseless.’

Cheema, by misuse of authority and with criminal intent, is accused of awarding a contract of the Ashiana-e-Iqbal project of approximately Rs14 billion to Lahore Casa Developers — a joint-venture which was ineligible for the contract. He is also accused of receiving illegal gratification in the form of a 32-Kanal land valuing Rs30.09 million approximately from the owners of Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd.
According to a NAB spokesperson, in 2015, Cheema awarded a contract to Bismillah Engineering —a C-4 company that was only eligible to receive contracts up to 150 million rupees.
The former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general caused a loss of 455 million rupees the national exchequer, stated the NAB spokesperson.
Bismillah Engineering owned ninety percent shares, while Sparco Construction Company and China First Metallurgical held ten percent shares each yet a joint venture of the three companies was awarded a contract in 2015.
The NAB spokesperson further stated that 61,000 citizens had filed requests for the Ashiana Housing Scheme and paid 60 million rupees in processing fees. The cost of the project had increased due to a delay.
Cheema had also obtained a 32-Kanal piece of land in Lahore Cantonment, registered in the name of his cousin and siblings Ahmed Cheema and Sadia Mansoor, said the NAB spokesperson.