Sindh to forward Rs7b wheat scam to NAB for investigation

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The Sindh government has decided to forward the case of alleged theft of wheat worth Rs7 billion from its warehouses in the province to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate it thoroughly, it was learnt on Monday. The decision came during a meeting presided over by the Sindh chief secretary. Officials of the food department, the anti-corruption establishment and other relevant departments were in attendance in the meeting. About 168,000 metric tonnes of wheat went missing from the government warehouses in the province. The wheat worth Rs7 billion was stolen in the month of February, according to a report. Another wheat bags worth Rs450 million had gone missing last year in November, the report said. Earlier, the chief secretary Sindh had handed over the matter for an inquiry to the anti-corruption department. It may be noted that the Sindh government has set a target of 1.4 million tonnes of wheat procurement this year. As per media reports, the theft was first highlighted during the wheat crisis report prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan. This year, the Sindh government has set a wheat procurement target at 1.4 million tons. However, the provincial government has not started the process yet. It is noteworthy that in April last year, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Sindh had unearthed a scam in which wheat worth Rs. 620 million was stolen from warehouses of the Food Department in Dadu and was sold illegally. This was revealed when an ACE team raided nine different warehouses of the Food Department in Dadu. Assistant and deputy directors also accompanied the raiding team. During the raid, they found that 0.194 million sacks of wheat worth Rs. 620 million were missing.