LAHORE: Syed Sibtul Hasan Shah alias ‘Double Shah’ and his accomplices have proposed to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) an out-of-court settlement and have offered to return the outstanding amount in return for a plea bargain.

Sources say the accused had submitted in an application to NAB that Sibtul Hasan would return Rs 5.44 billion, Zaheer Abbas Ghumman would return Rs 1.28 billion and Syed Munawer Hussain Gillani would return Rs 1.93 billion under a plea bargain. They said the NAB chairman had directed the Punjab Investigation Wing to get the pay orders from the accused and deposit the amount in the bureau’s account to complete the plea-bargain process.

Sources said that five of the 12 members of the Double Shah gang were in jail, while Ghumman, his three accomplices, Gillani and his two accomplices were in NAB’s custody on physical remand. They said NAB had filed a reference against 22 members of the three groups, out of which 12 members had been arrested. They said the bureau had already frozen their bank accounts and assets worth Rs 2 billion and distributed approximately Rs 730 million among more than 10,000 victims.

They said the process of returning the money to the victims of the financial scam would take another 45 days. The sources said the process of getting the claims verified was in the last stage, adding that the verified claims’ list would be sent to the NAB headquarters soon so that the victims could be compensated as soon as possible.

When contacted, NAB authorities confirmed that the plea bargain was in process. The accused have reportedly deprived more than 60,000 people of almost Rs 9 billion collectively.

Source: Daily Times