National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) staff is being accused of embezzling millions of rupees from Prime Minister’s Loan Scheme by opening dummy bank accounts, reports Express Tribune.
The loan scheme was launched in December 2013 which provided loans up to Rs. 2 million to applicants. On August 19th, the PM’s office released a statement regarding this matter. It expressed PM Nawaz’s displeasure towards NBP’s implementation of the scheme.
This is not the first time NBP are being accused of fraud. Couple of years back the bank took action against 11 bankers for a defrauding the national exchequer of Rs. 12 billion.
Last year, they were accused of stealing 411 million rupees in form fees from passport applications between the year 2007 and 2013.
Express Tribune reported that an NBP bank officer and his brother were both involved in the fraud. The brothers are accused of stealing money from the accounts of beneficiaries of the loan scheme and transferring them into dummy accounts without any authorization.
The matter was confirmed by the NBP Region Head of Mardan, Naeemullah Jan. He confirmed that Shah Nawaz Khan was indeed running a ‘parallel bank’ and that he has been suspended. No further remarks were made by him, however.
Estimated loss of 8 million rupees has been confirmed. To make the assessment of the loss more accurate, investigators have suggested Central Unit of Fraud/Forgery (CUFF) of NBP to thoroughly go through the matter.
Initial inquiry was made on 4th August, as authorized by NBP’s Regional head. The probe report was sent just three days before the PM Nawaz visited NBP Karachi to chair the meeting for the loan scheme.
Investigators selected 18 random cases and “grave irregularities were found in all cases.”
The report also claimed, “large-scale pocketing was also observed through unauthorized debt and credit to the PM youth loan scheme bank accounts.”
“Most of the entries have been routed through A/C No 4045242751 titled Spinkai Builders and the signatory authority of the account is Asif Nawaz Khan, who is reportedly the real brother of the main accused Shah Nawaz Khan,” – Investigation Report
Tribune reports that 1.53 million and 1.575 million rupees have been withdrawn from Taimoor Ali Shah and Murad Ali’s accounts respectively. However, both, Taimoor and Murad claim that neither did they open bank accounts in NBP Mardan’s branch nor did they ever receive cheque books.
Various cases with identical issues were observed by the investigators including Qamar Zaman’s case where 0.15 million rupees were withdrawn from his account and transferred to Spinkai Builders. In another case, 1.566 million rupees were allocated to Muhammad Yasir’s account without securing 10 percent equity.
Debit and credit vouchers were missing in three cases, according to investigators, with a total worth of 2.84 million rupees. Spinkai Builders’ received another donation, this time by Muhammad Inam, worth 0.08 million rupees.