Lahore: Main accused in car booking scam held
LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau, Punjab, claimed on Monday to have arrested one of the main accused in a car booking scam from Sialkot.
The suspect identified as Khalid Mehmood, who was manager of the company, was picked in connection with Rs400 million fraud affecting dozens of people.
Other accused include a woman, Saima, wife of late Sultan Mehmood alias Bao, the owner of the showroom, besides some unidentified people.
NAB Punjab spokesman Attiqur Rehman told Dawn that khalid was taken into custody after he failed to appear in before investigators and his warrants were issued by the NAB authorities. He said Khalid was among four other accused who defrauded clients byluring them into ‘profitable’ car bookings.
The spokesman said the suspect would be presented before a local NAB judge for getting his 14-day physical remand initially. He said Saima was appearing in the inquiry while Sultan’s first wife, who was also among the accused, had settled in Canada.
The spokesman said the accounts and assets of the accused were already frozen by NAB, but Saima was still running the showroom.
Asked if a former Sialkot SP who was currently working as a district police officer and was alleged to have provided benefits to the accused, was included in the investigation, Mr Rehman said the inquiry into the officer’s role in the matter was pending.
He said the officer had produced evidence that he only provided security to the Suzuki Sialkot Motors management after a dacoity.
According to an official correspondence between the NAB Punjab and the Dera Ghazi Khan regional police officer dated June 20, 2011, some of those affected by the scam alleged that the officer misused his authority as Sialkot SP, received monetary benefits from the accused by illegally deploying police personnel, in uniform as well in civvies on the showroom premises.
The NAB inquiry into the scam was initiated in September 2010. The first advertisement published in newspapers invited 129 claimants from Sialkot and Daska.
The claimants alleged that the showroom owner neither paid them the profit nor delivered them the vehicles they had got booked through the showroom.
The bureau got published the second advertisement in July/August 2011 and invited the remaining affected people.