EXCLUSIVE: Top Punjab Bureaucrats To Face Corruption Charges For Depositing Rs420 Million In Farah Gogi’s ...

EXCLUSIVE: Top Punjab Bureaucrats To Face Corruption Charges For Depositing Rs420 Million In Farah Gogi’s Account
LAHORE: The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) is all set to register an FIR and start an investigation against bureaucrats who were holding top positions during chief minister Usman Buzdar's tenure in government. The top mandarins are under the ACE radar for allegedly transferring Rs 420 million to Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Gogi, for the purposes of illegal transfers and postings, kickbacks, commissions, as well as monthly extortion money to retain the key positions they 'bought', The Friday Times (TFT) has learnt. 

Sources privy to this development confirmed to TFT that Farah Gogi’s cashier, Ahmad Mansoor Nawaz admitted in his confessional statement that he had submitted cash worth Rs 420 million in Farah Gogi’s account, which he had received from top bureaucrats, including former principal secretary to chief minister Tahir Khurshid (known by his initials 'TK'), former Lahore deputy commissioner Saleha Saeed, former DG LDA Usman Muazzam, Dr Syed Bilal Haider, Asif Bilal Lodhi, Ahmed Aziz Tarrar and others. Nawaz confessed to receiving money from these bureaucrats and depositing it in Farah Gogi’s account. 

“When we checked the dates of those payments in the shape of cash which were deposited to Gogi’s account, those dates matched with the time of postings of these officials at said position,” a senior official familiar with the case said. 

“These officials used to give me cash against transfer postings of officials, monthly extortion money (for staying on position) and for other activities, and I used to transfer it to madam Farah Gogi’s personal account,” Ahmad Mansoor Nawaz confessed in his statement. 

The senior official maintained that in light of the confessional statement, ACE will make raids and arrest other suspects and eyewitnesses. It is believed that among the people ACE is expected to apprehend is Khan Baba, Farah Gogi’s and her husband Ahsan Jameel Gujjar's guard. Khan Baba was a caretaker at the house in DHA and had seen these bureaucrats regularly visiting the premises to hand over money. 

Top Punjab bureaucrats working as Farah Gogi’s ‘B-Team’

A senior bureaucrat, speaking on condition of anonymity due to ongoing inquiries, said that all of these bureaucrats who enjoyed lucrative posts in Punjab during PTI’s tenure actually worked as the ‘B-team’ of Farah Gogi. "They were effectively her proxies in the Punjab bureaucracy. They were collecting kickbacks, commissions and black money on behalf of Farah Gogi, against illegal transfers and postings being made across the province," the bureaucrat told TFT

“The confession statement of the account is just the tip of the iceberg, and after the arrest of these officials, more names are likely to surface,” the bureaucrat proffered. 

“There was no supporting document or evidence when we investigated where this money came from,” a senior official who was part of the investigation told TFT

More bureaucrats' names likely to surface during investigation 

An official who is part of the investigation team also affirmed that once these bureaucrats were taken into custody, it was highly likely that during the course of investigation that "bigger names" would surface as part of this racket which made billions of rupees through illegal transfers, postings and kickbacks during the PTI government in the Punjab from 2018 to 2022.

Sources maintained that once these senior bureaucrats become part of the investigation, as suspects or witnesses, it was more likely that high profile bureaucrats would be exposed for paying heavy sums of money to Farah Gogi through them. 

“Once the arrests of Tahir Khurshid, Saleha Saeed, and others who were very close to Usman Buzdar and Farah Gogi are made, or they are made part of the investigation, it would help us a great deal in cracking this case wide open. This involves losses worth billions of rupees to national exchequer,” one of the investigating officers said. 

Sources maintained that Tahir Khurshid had worked very closely with Farah Gogi and Usman Buzdar when the latter was chief minister Punjab, and once Khurshid was arrested, the nexus of Farah Gogi, Usman Buzdar, Bushra Bibi and Ahsan Gujjar would stand exposed, and it would become clear how they used to operate in Punjab and how much money they minted thanks to the inordinate sway they had over troubled former premier and PTI chairman Imran Khan. 

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy. He also hosts the Hassan Naqvi Show on Naya Daur.