KARACHI – An accountability court on Thursday indicted former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon and 11 others in a case pertaining to alleged corruption of Rs5.76 billion.
The other accused in the case include former Sindh Information Secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shalwani, officials of the information department and members of private advertising agencies.
On October 23, the NAB had taken Memon into its custody from the Sindh High Court’s main building after the court dismissed a plea seeking extension in bail in a corruption reference.
Sharjeel Memon, flanked by his supporters party loyalists and lawyers, took at least five hours to come out of the court premises as his lawyers advised him to surrender to the NAB team.
Sharjeel Memon, who had returned to Pakistan in March 2017, is facing several charges of misappropriation and corruption relating to the period when he was the Sindh Information Minister.
Memon, along with suspects, have been accused of corruption worth Rs5.76 billion in the award of advertisements of the Sindh government’s awareness campaigns in the electronic media.
It was alleged that advertising agencies suppressed invoices issued by the media and showed much higher amounts, while as per settled practice, advertising agencies were entitled to get only 15 percent agency commission against the total bill.
The reference filed by National Accountability Bureau said that Evernew Concepts (Pvt) Ltd was paid Rs4,154,585,676, Orient Communication Rs320,062,994, Adarts Karachi Rs317,338,970, Connect Marketing Rs310,474,132, Value Added Marketing Rs205,827,587, Xnine Communications Rs374,546,739 and Insync Advertisement was paid Rs83, 643,668.
Memon, who served as Sindh information minister till 2015, returned to Pakistan in March this year after ending his nearly two-year-long self-imposed exile, was arrested on his arrival by NAB but later obtained bail.