Court sends fugitive Ogra chief on 14-day physical remand

ABU DHABI: An accountability court in Islamabad sent Tauqir Sadiq, the fugitive former chief of the Oil and Gas Regularity Authority (Ogra), on a 14-day physical remand on Tuesday.
The UAE authorities handed over Sadiq, who is accused of being involved in a multi-billion rupee scam, to a team of officials of the NAB on Monday night.
Appearing in the Islamabad court on Tuesday, Sadiq pleaded innocent before the bench, and accused authorities of mistreating him.
Sadiq claimed his life was in danger. “I should be granted access to legal counsel. NAB officials are threatening to break my bones and shoot me to death, pressurizing me into pleading guilty,” he claimed.
“There is still no charge-sheet against me. All charges leveled against me are baseless,” he said in court.
“The accused is alleged to have granted illegal CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) licenses on the basis of fake NOCs (certificates), recitation and re-location of CNG stations, illegal appointments, and misuse of authority,” the bureau said in a statement.
“His actions as Chairman Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) are alleged to have benefited stock market tycoons at the expense of general public. He is accused of being involved in gas theft and leakage amounting to billions of rupees.”
The accountability bureau requested the court for a 14-day physical remand of the former Ogra chairman, which was subsequently granted by the bench.
The bench also ordered a medical examination of Sadiq, who will be presented in court again on July 23.
Sadiq is accused of misusing authority, embezzling funds and causing Rs82 billion (approximately $850 million) losses to the national exchequer by converting operating income (regular income) into non-operating income in violation of an agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, relocating several CNG stations, making illegal appointments, etc.
He fled abroad soon after the Supreme Court declared his appointment as Ogra chief illegal on Nov 25, 2012, and ordered NAB to arrest him.
Sadiq managed to leave the country although his name was on the exit control list.
Two former prime ministers — Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf — have been accused of being involved in the ‘illegal’ appointment of Sadiq.

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