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Land scam: Ministry asked to put realtor’s name on ECL

RAWALPINDI: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has written to the interior ministry to put the names of all accused in the Bahria Town land scam on exit control list, it has been learnt.

An official, who is part of the four-member investigation team, told The Express Tribune that the ACE director-general, Rawalpindi, had requested the interior ministry to put the names of the suspects, including Bahria Town Chief Executive Bahria Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz, involved in buying 1,402 kanals of land in Rawat on forged documents and fake identities, on ECL.

He said they had assured the Supreme Court that all the suspects would be arrested soon. Two employees of the Bahria Town, four revenue officials and two private persons are already in the custody of the ACE.

Malik Riaz in his statement before the ACE investigation team on October 3 had denied the allegations and said his housing society was a victim in the case not the beneficiary.

However, the ACE stuck to its claims that the realtor and his son were part of the deal in which they purchased land using forged documents against Rs80.5 million in 2009.

The ACE chief had already approved the judicial action against the accused persons in the case before the SC on October 6, as the apex court had expressed annoyance over the delayed progress in the case.
ACE Director Muhammad Khan Ranjha, who has been leading the investigation in the case could not be contacted for the comments.

The investigations in the case gained momentum last month after one of the arrested man, Tanveer, approached the SC for bail and said the ACE had only arrested him and the influential people were managing to stay at large.

The case was registered after the villagers complained to the ACE against the revenue officials for depriving them of their land. Subsequently, the mutation of the land was cancelled by district officer revenue and investigations were initiated.

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