Fazaia Housing scheme: Rs 16bn cheated from people including overseas Pakistanis NAB in action, management compelled to return money, owner’s brother arrested

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Nation special report

KARACHI: The Pakistan Air Force (PIA) management and its joint venture partner, Ch Tanveer Builder of the Maxim Group, have agreed to refund the claims of 6,000 allottees of the Fazaia Housing schemes, amounting to Rs16 billion with immediate effect.

The announcement came after the allottees, including general public and armed forces personnel, were cheated by the PAF management and its partner, who illegally collected more than Rs16 billion from them including a huge number of overseas Pakistanis, according to documents available with The Express Tribune, the INP news agency reported on Friday (April 24).

To trap and grab the money from overseas Pakistanis, road shows were arranged in London and other citites and a number of these patriotic Pakistanis invested their hard earning money believing the name of Pakistan Air Force. The project was meant to start in Karachi and very attractive and eye-catching material were prepared to attract the customers.

The case had already been on the radar of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The countrys premier graft buster had taken over an amount of Rs13.5 billion by freezing the joint venture account, one of the documents suggested.

It said that both the PAF and the Maxim would pay Rs3 billion as remaining liability of accused to NAB for 100% refund to the affectees, adding that assets worth Rs6 billion in shape of land and machinery/assets at site will remain in NAB custody as collateral against liability of Rs3 billion.

The Fazaia Housing Scheme, according to a report, was a plan to build 8,400 residential units for the families of the martyrs. However, contrary to the purpose of the housing scheme, only 30 residential units were allotted to the families of the martyrs.

Also the scheme, in Deh Allah Phihai, Taluka Shah Mureed, DehTaiser, Scheme 45, was not approved by the authorities concerned and all the constructions there were carried out illegally. The layout plan was also not submitted for town planning point of view in Malir Development Authority.

As a result, the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) issued a show-cause notice to the relevant PAF official, regarding the illegal constriction of bungalows and flats and directed for stopping all sorts of construction and sale and booking activities immediately.

According to the law, the owner/builder of the project has to submit proposed building plan along with the relevant ownership/title documents. A no-objection certificate (NOC) is also required from utility agencies, which the PAF had not obtained.

Suspect arrested

Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday (April 23) arrested an individual allegedly involved in the Fazaia Housing Society fraud and presented the individual before an accountability court in Lahore for obtaining judicial remand, Online news agency has reported.

According to a statement released by the accountability body in this regard stated that the suspect identified as Muhammad Hafeez stands accused of fraud by luring unsuspecting citizens into the housing scheme; Online news agency has reported. The suspect is stated to be the brother of scheme owner Saleem Hanif.

According to NAB Hafeez and Hanif were together involved in scams worth huge sums of money that affected at least 1,016 people affiliated with the housing scheme. The bureau claimed that administration of the scheme is allegedly involved in corruption worth Rs2 billion.

Hanif is already under NAB detention. According to the bureau, Hafeez was arrested after it was found that he was the owner of a company contracted to carry out development works, worth huge sums of money, for the housing scheme that were never completed.