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Paragon Housing scam: Judicial remand of Khawaja brothers extended till July 16

LAHORE:       An accountability court in Lahore has on Thursday extended judicial remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader and Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique till July 16 in the Paragon Housing Society scam.
According to details, judge Syed Najam-ul Hassan presided over the hearing during which, the court has directed to launch proceedings to declare Nadeem Zia, Umar and Farhan Ali as proclaimed offenders.
Meanwhile, a heavy contingent of police was deployed around the court to prevent party workers from disrupting law and order situation during their appearance.
The Khawaja brothers have been accused of embezzling nearly Rs2 billion.
In all previous hearings, the defence counsel had repeatedly maintained before the court that the details of banking transactions of the last ten years had been handed over to the NAB.
However, NAB’s prosecutor had informed the court that according to records of the Paragon Housing Society an amount of Rs2 billion was transferred to sons of Salman Rafique and Nadeem Zia.
Butt and Zia established a company “Air Avenue” in the year 2003; however the name was later changed to Paragon City private (Pvt) Limited.
Earlier on Feb 2, the court had rejected a request made by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for another extension in the physical remand of the Khawaja brothers in the case, and sent them on judicial remand.
On December 11, 2018, they were detained by the accountability watchdog after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their bail plea.
The NAB had launched an investigation into the alleged scam in November last year after a number of victims staged protests and held a press conference at the Lahore Press Club against what they termed the housing society’s fraud.

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