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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Controversial raid on Bahria Town offices by NAB and Police raises questions

While there was no official statement from NAB or other authorities, some NAB officials anonymously confirmed the raid.

On Tuesday, a team from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), accompanied by Rawalpindi police, raided the offices of Bahria Town in Rawalpindi, according to sources familiar with the incident.

While there was no official statement from NAB or other authorities, some NAB officials anonymously confirmed the raid. NAB spokesperson Birj Lal claimed ignorance about the raid, suggesting it might have been conducted by NAB Rawalpindi but without confirmation.

Read more: Malik Riaz Alleges Political Pressure, Stands Firm Despite Business Losses

Another source indicated that the raid aimed to seize records related to the Al Qadir Trust case. Malik Riaz, the owner of Bahria Town, and his son Ali Malik, who are reportedly in the UAE, have been declared proclaimed offenders in this case by an accountability court.

Malik Riaz responded to the development by posting a CCTV video on X (formerly Twitter), showing several men in plain clothes searching through an office. However, the footage did not conclusively prove it was from Bahria Town offices. Riaz asserted on social media that he would not become an “approver” despite facing “oppression.”

Read more: Malik Riaz denounces leaked audio as ‘fabricated’

In a follow-up tweet, Riaz claimed the raid lasted for hours, with nine employees allegedly taken away, along with office records and vehicles. He also alleged that many Bahria Town properties and accounts were seized last month and urged the government to release his staff and return the seized items.

Last week, Riaz posted a cryptic message on social media, stating he was under “pressure” to take a political stance and facing financial losses, but he vowed not to be used for political purposes. This statement was unusual for Riaz, who is known for his extensive connections with political parties, media, and the civil and military establishment in Pakistan.

Malik Riaz has a controversial history, with allegations of using questionable and aggressive land acquisition tactics for his luxury real estate projects. His firm has also been involved in multiple court cases, including a recent Supreme Court order to pay the Sindh government for land acquired for Bahria Town Karachi.