LAHORE: In a mega millions of rupees parallel banking and fraud scam of the Allied Bank Limited (ABL) Shahdara branch that has shaken public trust in banking sector, new facts have emerged as principal accused has come with sweeping allegations that he was merely a front man of high-ups, including the Human Resource Chief and ABL union secretary in selling postings, promotions, increments and jobs and is made a scapegoat with other lower grade staff. On the other hand, the bank has dismissed principal accused and 11 other lower grade accused employees before the court’s decision; however, FIA has found the ‘front man’ and 11 other lower grade employees responsible of parallel banking and embezzlement in the bank’s funds to the tone of Rs 186 million.
In February 2019, Allied Bank Limited communicated the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) the total amount of fraud of over Rs 120 million and vowed to communicate if more discrepancies appear. The FIA had registered an FIR against Mirza Gulfam, son of Muhammad Yousaf, Ali Mehmood, son of Altaf Mehmood, Muhammad Hussain, son of Malik Muhammad Javaid, Mirza Muhammad Wasim Baig, son of Muhammad Arshad Baig, Najeeb Hanif, son of Muhammad Hanif, Shahid Maqbool Mirza and Zahid Maqbool Mirza. The agency registering the FIR has started investigation into the fraud.
As per the newly emerged details documents for which are available with Daily The Business, principal accused in the scam, ABL Shahdara branch ex-manager Shahid Maqbool Mirza in his statement to the FIA has said that he was a ‘front man’ of Human Resource Group Chief Saira Shahid Hussain and ABL union general secretary Abuzar Bukhari in selling bank’s hiring, promotions and increments.
“I had been receiving money from public and the bank employees with the promises of their appointment in the bank, their promotions, transfers and postings on the instruction of Human Resource Chief and facilitation of the union general secretary and handing over the money to them,” he said.
“Every year two batches of tellers and MTOs had been announced by the bank and in every batch, I handed over minimum 10 CVs with Rs 300,000 each for the post of teller and Rs 500,000 each for the post of MTOs to the union general secretary since 2012 to 2019. Every time out of 10 jobs two to three applicants of mine were accommodated while others refused but Bukhari never returned the money for the rejected CVs due to which I had been facing huge losses,” he added.
He said that he had to make payments to those applicants who were never appointed and upon the directions of the high-ups the ABL ex-branch manager used to return payments to those applicants who could not be appointed along with their CVs from the accounts of the other accountholders of the bank who were maintaining their fixed deposits in the bank branch.
“The top officials used to buy time and sometime harassed me whenever I talked about settling accounts of the fixed deposit accountholders whose accounts were used to make payments to the candidates who were refused appointments,” the ABL Shahdara branch ex- manager said, adding, he felt like a handicap despite being a branch manager as blue-eyed staff of the high-ups were appointed in his branches to keep an vigilant eye on him and inform them whether or not I was following their instructions to protect their vested interests.