Three held for supplying poor quality equipment to schools

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday arrested three people, including a project officer of Workers Welfare Board (WWB) and two contractors, on the charge of supplying substandard equipment and other items to schools run by the board.

The NAB claimed that the three persons, WWB project officer Abdul Waheed Qureshi, owner of private firm Ashraf Enterprises Asghar Awan and partner of the firm Manzoor Ahmad Ghauri, were involved in causing huge loss to the exchequer by supplying substandard equipment for science laboratories, stationery items and uniform at highly exorbitant rates with the name of fake firms and without adopting genuine bidding process.

It alleged that the entire process was conducted in violations of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules and caused loss of millions of rupees to the exchequer.

The bureau said the suspects would be produced before the accountability court on today (Wednesday) for physical remand.

In a news release issued here, the NAB claimed taking cognisance of public complaints, it had initiated inquiry, which established allegations against suspects and led to their arrest.

Over a month ago, the NAB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also arrested the long serving WWB secretary, Tariq Awan, who is stated to be the main suspect in the mega scam.

He is also accused of being involved in the WWB scholarship fraud.

As per inquiry conducted so far, millions of rupees were paid to suspects Asghar Awan and Manzoor Ghauri in the name of five fake and unregistered companies.

Heavy loss was caused to the exchequer on account of poor supply of substandard generators, vacuum cleaners, electricity equipment and uniform.

Suspects, including Asghar Awan and Manzoor Ghauri, are allegedly involved in misappropriation of more than Rs300 million in the name of supply of equipment through the said fake companies named Ashraf Enterprises, Monica Supply Agency, Ashraf Uniform Centre, Umar and Company, and ABS Trading.

The NAB claims it has unearthed and frozen two bank accounts of the two contractors having balance of Rs50 million.

Suspect Tariq Awan has also been facing multiple charges of his alleged involvement in illegal appointments, selling of scholarships and gross violation of rules in acquisition of land for welfare projects for labourers.

Source: Dawn