National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has lodged the first-ever reference against real estate magnate, Malik Riaz, and several other suspects for illegally allotting an amenity plot in Clifton, on which Bahria Town constructed the Icon Tower.
NAB has also booked ex-PPP Senator Yousaf Baloch, ex-chief secretary Sindh Abdul Subhan Memon, ex-adviser to chief minister Sindh Dr. Dinshaw Anklesaria, ex-DG parks Liaquat Qaimkhani.
Other suspects include Waqas Raffat, Ghulam Arif, Khawaja Shafique, Jamil Baloch, Afzal Aziz, Syed Mohammad Shah, Khurram Arif, Abdul Karim Paleejo, Khawaja Badee uz Zaman.
The reference in which NAB has also nominated Zain Malik, Malik Riaz’s son-in-law, is believed to be an offshoot of the fake bank accounts case against Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur.
Although NAB is yet to release an official statement on the reference to the media, the reference forwarded to the registrar of accountability court states that national exchequer sustained a loss of more than Rs.100 billion at the hands of the accused.
Registrar office will formally forward the reference to the administrative judge of the accountability courts, Mohamad Bashir, after evaluating it.
According to a Bahria Town official Col (R) Khalil, the enterprise followed the law and purchased the land in a transparent manner. Malik Riaz has no association with fake bank accounts case as all the payments were completely made through verified accounts, said Col (R) Khalil.
In June 2019, NAB arrested ex-works and services secretary Sindh, Sajjad Abbasi, after unearthing irregularities in the allotment of land for Icon Tower.
Sajjad Abbasi later disclosed that he sold the amenity plot to Dr. Dinshaw Anklesaria, executive district officer-revenue Sindh at the time. Abbasi claimed that it was Anklesaria who sold the plot to Malik Riaz, who later built the 62-storey Icon Tower there.