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Ahad Cheema in hot waters, as NAB launches probe in Ravi Project

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Lahore wing of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched a new probe into the River Ravi Zone Front Development Project, tightening its noose around provincial bureaucrat Ahad Cheema.

Cheema, the former director-general of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) who is already under investigation in the Ashiana Housing Scheme scam, now faces another probe by the accountability bureau in relation to the River Ravi Zone Front Development Project.

The Ravi Project, started during the tenure of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, allegedly employed services of a blacklisted company for a survey.

NAB, which filed a reference against Cheema in the Ashiana Housing Scheme case on Friday, has decided to issue fresh arrest warrants for the bureaucrat. The decision was made during a recent board meeting at the bureau.

Cheema is accused of awarding a contract of the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing project of approximately Rs14 billion to Lahore Casa Developers — a joint-venture which was ineligible for the contract — by misuse of authority and with criminal intent.

The anti-graft body had launched an investigation against the management, officers, and officials of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), management and owners of Lahore Casa Developers, officers and officials of the LDA after the government cancelled the award of the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme to the successful bidder M/S Chaudhry Latif and Sons.

On June 19, an accountability court in Lahore sent Cheema and chief executive officer of Bismillah Engineering Shahid Shafiq to jail on judicial remand after their 90-day and 87-day physical remands ended.

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