Pakistan

LAHORE – Punjab’s anti-corruption body yesterday arrested a former military brigadier and nine other persons for their involvement in a mega land fraud involving more than 1200 kanals of property.

The arrests were made in Kasur district of Punjab just a few hours after the Supreme Court rejected the bail petitions of the suspects, The Nation reported.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Director General Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Establishment Brig (Retd) Muzaffar Ali Ranjha confirmed the arrests while addressing a news conference in Lahore.

One of the alleged fraudsters was identified as Brigadier (r) Ibrahim Khalid. Another key suspect is said to be Amir Aqeeq, a grade-20 officer who had served as Personal Staff Officer to the Punjab’s chief minister in the past.

The other eight accused are government officials and their relatives or private individuals.

According to the law minister, the accused had committed the fraud on May 8, 2012 by selling 1205-kanal piece of land located in district Kasur to their relatives on very low prices.

“We are observing zero tolerance policy against corruption. The corrupt elements are held accountable irrespective of their status,” the Minister said.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan was hearing the case related to the mega land scam.

Director General Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Establishment Brig (r) Muzaffar Ali Ranjha said they would complete the investigations of this case within a couple of weeks. “We have introduced some reforms in the department. The anti-graft body is taking action against the corrupt elements irrespective of their status and affiliation.”

Ruling out the plea bargain, Ranjha said that no such laws exit in the Anti-Corruption Establishment. He vowed that the arrested culprits would be brought to justice and every looted penny would be recovered from their possession.