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Checks and balances: FIA investigates NATCO MD for alleged corruption

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has asked the managing director of Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO) to submit attested documents in a corruption case against him. Saeedullah Yousafzai has been asked to submit copies of various bills from his induction to date.

“We have asked for the documents because of the complaints we have received about alleged corruption in the organisation,” a senior official in FIA told The Express Tribune on Thursday. “The documents we will receive will tell the story – whether the accusations are true or false,” said the official, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Paper trail

In a letter, FIA asked Yousafzai to submit documents for the purchase of non-customs paid vehicles for NATCO, the auction of 10 land cruisers and the construction of the managing director’s residence, among others.

Yousafzai denied the allegations in a statement on Thursday. “The board of directors has powers to make decisions,” said Yousafzai, denying the rumours circulating on social media and in  local news.

According to the statement issued by NATCO’s public relations office, the expenditure on vehicles and other projects was done in light of the policy made by the board of directors. “If this is the way we treat honest officials, nobody will want to serve G-B in future,” said the statement.

However, Yousafzai welcomed the FIA investigation, saying it was the mandate of the agency to investigate allegations but that does not mean he was guilty.

He blamed “certain elements” inside NATCO for triggering the investigation, saying people conspired when their own practices were questioned.

NATCO was established in 1974 under the Companies Act 1913 to build roads and establish a transport system for people living in G-B and Chitral. The organisation runs a bus service in G-B and the rest of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2016.

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