Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

UAE arrests Pakistan fugitive over graft scandal

Published on Jan 30, 2013 3:44 PM

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan's fugitive former oil and gas chief has been arrested in Abu Dhabi on suspicion of embezzling US$850 million (S$1 billion) in a scandal that could spark a criminal case against the prime minister, an official said on Wednesday.

Tauqir Sadiq was arrested a week after Pakistan's top court ordered a case to be registered against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf over the matter, raising pressure on the government as it nears the end of its five-year term in office.

Sadiq is accused of taking US$850 million in kickbacks and commissions while head of Pakistan's oil and gas regulatory authority between 2009 and 2011, at a time when Mr Ashraf was water and power minister. Sadiq fled Pakistan last year.

"We can confirm his arrest. He has been detained in Abu Dhabi," said Mr Zafar Iqbal, spokesman for Pakistan's anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has been investigating the graft allegations.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!