NAB Files References Against Instaphone Directors for Corruption

After repeated show cause notices by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and failure to comply with the financial obligations as listed in the terms and conditions for the license renewal, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a corruption reference against 8 directors, including Shahid Feroz and Javed Feroz s/o Feroz-ul-Arfeen, of M/s Pakcom Ltd. (Instaphone) for wilful default.

Pakcom’s license was revoked on 03 January 2008 despite being given ample time from 2006-08 to pay the outstanding dues. The company had signed an undertaking to meet the financial obligations for license renewal.

On 15 April 2005, PTA had directed Pakcom to shift to either Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) with 7.38+7.38 MHz or Global System for Mobile (GSM) with 10+10 MHz frequency bands; Pakcom chose the former and signed the license.

On 18 April 2005, the company paid the first installment for the license; $14.55 million. In the same year, the major shareholder, M/s Millicom sold all the shares to the other directors of Pakcom and the company promised to bear all the liabilities by themselves in 2006.

However, the payments were not made and PTA declared Pakcom a defaulter.

The reference against Instaphone has been filed by the Rawalpindi branch of NAB. Chairman NAB maintained that:

“NAB is absolutely committed to eradicating corruption from the country with iron hands across the board and recovery of looted money from corrupt elements is our top priority”.

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