Kayani orders probe into multi-billion rupee NLC scam implicating army officers

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Islamabad, Nov 24 (ANI): Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has ordered a high-level inquiry into the charges of massive financial irregularities in the National Logistics Cell (NLC).

"A serving corps commander has been nominated to head the inquiry along with two major generals as members," the Dawn quoted an official announcement, as saying.

It said that appropriate action would be taken in line with the army rules and regulations on the completion of the inquiry.

The NLC is a subsidiary of the Planning Commission, but has traditionally been dominated by the Army, the paper said. Even today, a serving major general is heading it, with several other officers in uniform working as his subordinates.

Earlier, an audit report had identified corruption to the tune of billions of rupees in the NLC accounts, and the audit department had reported to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the NLC had obtained 4.3 billion rupees in loans from banks between 2004 and 2008 for investment in volatile bourses, and suffered losses worth 1.84 billion rupees.

An interdepartmental committee of the Finance, Planning and Audit Department had found three army generals and a senior civil official responsible for the losses.

Another scam against the NLC involved embezzlement of millions of rupees worth of foreign loan in drought emergency relief assistance project, which was initiated to help the people affected by the drought in southern Punjab.

Two army generals had also been found involved in yet another multi-million-rupee scam in the NLC, with the disclosure that they had quietly given a 75-million-rupee loan to a defunct Japanese private power company without any guarantees, which the company never returned.

During the recent proceedings of the PAC, it was also revealed that 88 vehicles, including seven luxury Prado vehicles- each costing millions of rupees- were imported duty-free by NLC's top guns by using fake certificates testifying that they were being imported for "defence purposes".

The imported vehicles are now in the use of junior officers, mostly from the army. (ANI)

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