KARACHI, Aug 30: Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Chairman Mumtaz Shah on Sunday told Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah that 52 officers from different government departments had been arrested over charges of corruption, embezzlement and misappropriation of government funds across the province in the past two months.
He said 72 first-information reports (FIRs) were registered, while 209 inquiries were initiated against officials in the said time period.
Briefing the chief minister at the CM House, the ACE chairman said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had begun sending him inquiries into land, revenue and local government matters – such as illegal and double land allotments, bogus allotment files and other such forgeries and criminal acts.
“So far I have received more than 40 inquiries and have constituted a two- member committee to scrutinise them and conduct thorough inquires so that action could be taken accordingly.”
The chief minister said matters being forwarded by the NAB and FIA must be taken seriously followed by swift action.
“It is a good omen that the federal agencies have started posing confidence in ACE,” said Qaim Ali Shah.
Giving details of the FIRs, inquiries and arrests, the ACE chairman said since July 22, 2015, four raids have been conducted in Karachi South, which resulted in three arrests and four FIRs.
From Karachi East, he said, six FIRs have been registered and five accused have been detained in the said time frame, while two FIRs, four arrests and 26 inquiries were initiated after action in Karachi West.
Mumtaz Shah said in Hyderabad, four surprise visits and three raids were conducted resulting in 17 FIRs and as many arrests of government officers. He added that in Jamshoro, nine FIRs were registered, 46 inquiries initiated and eight officials arrested in the aftermath of seven raids.
Similarly, four surprise visits and seven raids were carried out in Mirpurkhas after which eight FIRs were lodged and four officers were apprehended.
In Shaheed Benazirabad, eight surprise visits and two raids were conducted, whereas in Sukkur, five surprise visits and six raids were carried out resulting in 13 FIRs, 24 inquiries and nine arrests.
In Larkana 13 FIRs were registered, 135 inquiries initiated and eight officers arrested after action by the anti-corruption body.
ACE Chairman Mumtaz Shah told the chief minister that most of the initiated inquires were against officials in the local government, education, health, works & services, irrigation, and revenue departments.
He said he had also initiated a process to computerise records of the anti-corruption establishment.
“Entire initiatives would be computerised right from receiving a complaint, process of inquiry, registration of FIRs, arrests and other such actions,” he said, adding that software would be developed to meet all requirements.
The ACE chief said on his directives commissioners in Sindh had held five meetings in which 37 matters related to Karachi West, 50 from district Jamshoro, 14 from Shaheed Benazirabad, 14 from Sukkur and 213 from Larkana were decided.
“This implies we decided 328 cases from five districts, which is in itself a record,” Mumtaz Shah said.
The chief minister appreciated the provincial anti-corruption body’s efforts, urging the ACE chairman to eradicate corruption from government departments.