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Sharjeel Memon arrested

24 October, 2017

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KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday rounded up former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, a close aide of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zadari, in a multi-billion-rupee corruption case from outside the Sindh High Court (SHC) along with his other 11 ‘accomplices’.

NAB Sindh Deputy Director Rizwan Soomro told reporters that the accused persons – wanted in Reference No 50/2016 – had been arrested after cancellation of their interim bails. He said that the accused were charged with embezzlement of more than Rs 5.76 billion purportedly paid to seven advertising agencies for awareness campaigns between 2013 and 2015.

He said the accused persons awarded contracts at “exorbitant rates” to favour certain advertising agencies in violation of the relevant laws and rules.

Giving details of the 11 co-accused, the official said they included then secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shalwani, then deputy director information (advertisement) Mansoor Ahmed Rajput, then information officer Sarang Latif Chandio and then section officer (G) Altaf Hussain Memon, all of the Information and Archives Department.

The other accused were M/s Evernew Concepts Pvt Ltd Senior Executive Director Asim Amir Khan Sikandar, M/s Orient Communication Pvt Ltd CEO Masood Hashmi, M/s Adarts Karachi Pvt Ltd Director Gulzar Ali, M/s Adarts Karachi Pvt Ltd Director Salman Mansoor, Daily Milan Proprietor Umar Shahzad, M/s Media Power Link Proprietor Syed Naveed and M/s Evernew Concepts Pvt Ltd Secretary Muhammad Hanif.

Memon kept officials of Sindh Rangers and National Accountability Bureau on their toes for hours outside the SHC after his bail plea in the graft case was rejected, and the judges ordered his immediate arrest.

When the judges called it a day, Memon had no option but to step out, and was subsequently arrested.

Earlier in the day, Memon and his accomplices appeared before the SHC bench and requested for their bail extension, but the SHC chief justice turned down their pleas.

The PPP leader, who returned to Pakistan from self-exile in March this year, obtained protective bail in April in connection with an inquiry initiated by the top graft buster.

He had fled to Dubai in 2015 after the NAB launched a crackdown on allegedly corrupt political figures and bureaucrats as part of the “Karachi Operation”.

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