Saad, Salman physical remand extended by 15 days

LAHORE: An accountability court extended by 15 days the physical remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother, Salman Rafique, in connection to the Paragon Housing Society scam.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials presented the PML-N leader and his brother before the court and sought a 15-day extension in their physical remand. Saad was brought to Lahore from Islamabad where he was on transit remand since December 20 to attend the NA session.

On December 11, NAB arrested the Rafique brothers after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their request for an extension in their pre-arrest bail in the case pertaining to the housing society scam.

Heavy contingents of police had been deployed and roads leading to the court had been blocked for the hearing.

Saad and Salman will now be presented before court on January 5.

NAB allegations

Followingtheir arrests, NAB Lahore issued a press release and stated that “accused Saad Rafique along with his benamidaar wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique in association with Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue which was converted into a new housing project namely M/S Paragon City Pvt Limited. Record shows that M/S Paragon City is an illegal society.”

“Accused in collusion, connivance and collaboration of Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia cheated the members of public at large and obtained illegal pecuniary benefits from the funds of said illegal housing project,” it added.

Further, it stated, “Accused is operating this illegal housing project through his associates/ co-accused persons who are collecting deposits from general public despite clear directions from LDA that this project is unapproved.”

“Accused has been and is continuously obtaining illegal/ illegitimate funds/ benefits from said project as he obtained 40 kanal plots in his own name and the name of his brother Salman Rafique.”

The press release continued, “Accused by misusing his official position continued the expansion and marketing of illegal housing project and also obtained undue benefits in the form of sale of numbers of commercial plots worth billions of rupees which were actually not owned by M/S Paragon City. Thus the buyers have been cheated through this action of corruption and corrupt practices.