Former NBP President Ali Raza arrested for alleged involvement in Rs18.5 billion scam

  • 2009 audit report of the bank had revealed irregularities: NAB
  • Raza was shifted to undisclsoed location after cancellation of pre-arrest bail

KARACHI – Former National Bank of Pakistan President Ali Raza was arrested on Friday after his pre-arrest bail orders were cancelled by the Sindh High Court.

The court was hearing the case regarding Rs18.5 billion scam in the NBP Bangladesh operations filed by National Accountability Bureau.

During today’s hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor told the court that Raza, during the time of the scam, was not only the president of the bank but also the chairman of its board of directors, the head of its audit committee and the human resource department chief.

He argued that the 2009 audit report of the bank had revealed irregularities and the State Bank of Pakistan too had complained about corruption in the NBP’s affairs.

The prosecutor maintained that apart from Raza, NBP officials including Imran Butt, Ibrar Beg, Imran Ghani and some Bangledeshi citizens were also involved in the scam.

After listening to graft-buster’s arguments, the court ordered the arrest of Raza and the six others in the case while uphelding the pre-arrest bails of two other co-accused Qamar Hussain and Kausar Malik.

According to accountability watchdog, the Bangladesh branch of NBP lent $185 million without securing collaterals to dubious companies between 2003 and 2012.

The scam garnered media spotlight in 2014 and in February next year, the NA standing committee, headed by Omar Ayub Khan of the PML-N, referred the matter to NAB for further probe. The current chairman of the committee, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, also kept the issue alive.

The arrested Raza has been shifted to an undisclosed location and will be presented before NAB courts tomorrow.