Los Angeles: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a reference against Parvez Elahi, his son Moonis, and twelve other people for allegedly getting kickbacks from contractors working on different building projects in Gurjat worth Rs1.23b.

Pervazi Elahi and Moonis Elahi. PHOTO: FILE

The report sent to an accountability court in Lahore said the suspects “with dishonest intent and by misusing their authority to collect kickbacks” approved more projects for the Punjab Highways Department in two constituencies of Elahi’s home town of Gujrat.

“They [Elahi, Moonis, and their helpers] abused their power and official positions to get officers in the Punjab Highways Department to be their trusted advisors and helpers, with the dishonest goal of getting illegal money, kickbacks, or commissions for themselves,” the reference said.

According to the accountability watchdog, “evidence collected and witnesses recorded speaks volume of unlawful actions/misuse of authority with dishonest/illegal intent on the part of accused persons.”

Besides that, it said the people who were charged “received kickbacks and commissions as illegal gains and possessed the crime proceeds into different bank accounts to create a financial layering.”

One of Suhail Awan’s clients, Monis Elahi, and two former government workers have been named as “pardon witnesses” against Parvez Elahi. Elahi was Punjab’s chief minister during the PTI’s rule.

There was a claim that Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi accepted 116 illegal plans for Gujrat’s development. Later, they got bribes by giving jobs to companies they liked.

It was said that Parvez Elahi got more than Rs744.5 million in bribes and kickbacks, and that Moonis’s accountant sent the illegal money to Moonis and his family’s bank accounts.

It was said that Moonis sent 1.061 million euros to Parvez Elahi’s foreign bank account while he was mayor of Tehran. At the same time, members of Elahi’s family put more than Rs304 million into their own bank accounts.

The reference said that while the NAB was looking into the case, Ashfaq Ahmed, one of the suspects, asked for a Rs50 million plea deal, which was accepted by the Lahore accountability court. Moonis Elahi and his accountant Imtiaz Ali were called “absconders” by the Lahore accountability court, the report said.

The statement said, “It would be proper and just to go further against the accused persons as there is enough evidence on record to justify filing of reference against them.”

After making the reference, NAB put out a statement in the press saying that the former CM and his son were involved in doing damage to the national exchequer. Based on the reference given by the NAB, the statement asked the court to speed up the investigation against the suspects.

Later, Moonis Elahi, who has been out of the country since December of last year, used the microblogging site X to dispute NAB’s claims by sharing a picture of a court order.

In a press statement today, NAB said that my father and I are involved in corruption and that they have filed a reference against us for Rs744 million.

“This seems to have something to do with 1 million euros in my account.” That million euros is mine, as are all of our other cash. They have been reported to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) along with the source of the money and a trail of it. “When NAB filed an application for 9C, they went to court and said the following, which cleared us of all charges,” he said.

Parvez Elahi was caught in August of this year for the case, but the court later let him go free on bail. Elahi is currently facing several cases, including one involving FIA money laundering and claims of making illegal decisions in the Punjab Assembly.