An accountability court in Lahore on Saturday extended the physical remand of PML-N leader Khwaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khwaja Salman Rafique till January 19 in connection with the Paragon Housing Scheme ‘corruption’ probe.
Accountability court judge Syed Najamul Hassan extended the remand after NAB representative Waris Ali Janjua claimed that billions of rupees were transferred to the accounts of “Gufran and Qadeer” — the sons of Khwaja Salman Rafique and Nadeem Zia respectively.
The official told the court that 12 to 13 accounts of Paragon were under investigation, adding that they plan to interrogate Gufran as well.
The NAB officer told the court that multiple suspect transactions had been made through the accounts of Paragon City and that the State Bank of Pakistan had informed the watchdog thrice about the transactions.
Janjua further said that MS Executive Builders is also under probe, whereas notices have been issued to more than 30 people for investigation.
Defence counsel Amjad Perve opposed the NAB’s plea for extension of remand, saying that the prosecutor was repeating old arguments. He argued that all the data of his clients was already available to the watchdog.
During an earlier hearing, the NAB had claimed that Saad, through his benamidar wife Ghazala, and brother Salman and in association with Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia had established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue that was converted into a new project, namely M/s Paragon City Pvt Ltd.
“Record shows that Paragon City is an illegal society. The suspect in collaboration with Zia and Butt cheated the members of public at large and obtained illegal pecuniary benefits from the funds of said illegal housing project,” the bureau had alleged.
A NAB prosecutor had said, “Paragon Housing Society is illegal; an approval for its construction was not obtained.”
“Ninety people from whom the Khawaja brothers took money but did not allot plots to have contacted NAB. They also took a lot of commission from Executive Builders’ accounts,” he had added.
The NAB had taken Khawaja brothers into custody last month after rejection of their petition to obtain pre-arrest bail. Subsequently, the NAB had also launched a probe against them under the suspicion of assets beyond known income.