NAB Court approves plea bargain of clearing agent for Rs10m in Kurram Steel tax evasion case

KARACHI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Court approved application of plea bargain of clearing agent Muhammad Waseem son of Nasir Ahmed and disqualified him for a period of 10 years. He was booked in a case of M/s Khurram Steel Mills and evaded duty and taxes to the tune of Rs 9,347,275.

According to the NAB sources, suspect has plea-bargained against the amount of Rs10 million. On 17 September 2019, Shahbaz Sahotra, prosecutor NAB presented along with investigation officer Umair Ahmed and filed application to anti-date the matter with request to take up on the ground that plea bargain application of above-named suspect has been accepted by competent authority, therefore, so approval of offer of plea bargain of said suspect is sought.

After the hearing, court observed in its order that “according to the statement of accused recorded in open court on which his signature and thumb impression obtained, who stated that he entered in plea bargain voluntarily without any force or pressure and he knew the consequences of plea bargain which resulted into conviction under section 15 of NAO, 1999 and disqualification to conduct election or hold public office.

Order passed on plea bargain application and pronounced in open court, which is approved. Since the accused has fulfilled the terms and conditions of the plea bargain and there is no impediment under the law, therefore, I hereby approve the plea bargain reached between the accused and NAB authorities in terms of section 25(b) of NAB Ordinance, 1999.

Since accused has availed the benefit of plea bargain as such he shall be deemed to have been convicted for an offence of corruption and corrupt practices as specified in the schedule of the NAB Ordinance, 1999. The accused who is in NAB custody, however, is ordered to be released forthwith, if not required in any other inquiry/ investigation/ crime/ FIR and case”.

According to the prosecution, FIR No PQ-228/DCI/Khurram Steel/2016 dated 11/12/2016 was registered by directorate general of intelligence and investigation-FBR (Customs Enforcement) Karachi, in violation of under section 2 (s) (ii) 16, 32 (1) & (2) 32-A, 81, 82 punishable under section 156 (1) (8) (9) (14) (14-A) & 156 of the Customs Act, 1969.