LAHORE - An accountability court has extended the physical remand of Hammad Arshad, the prime accused in DHA City land scam, for 14 days.

After producing Mr Arshad before the court yesterday, NAB officials submitted an interim challan and pleaded the court that they needed further custody of the accused.

They also asked for court permission to investigate Arshad’s bank accounts.

The counsel of the accused maintained that his client did not commit any fraud. “Land purchases and construction always take time but the NAB officials took my client into custody,” said the counsel, requesting the judge for release orders.

A law officer, however, informed the court that the accused looted hundreds of citizens in the name of land. The complainants could not get land for their homes for last six years, he added. “It was the right of the citizens to hold a land purchased by their money,” said the law officer.

After hearing both sides, Judge Furqan Babar extended the physical remand of Hammad Arshad.

According to NAB, the company had secured a contract from the DHA-EME in 2009 to acquire 25,000 kanals for the establishment of DHA City. However, the company was unable to acquire the agreed land but it issued allotment letters nevertheless and collected around Rs15.47 billion from the public.

Hammad Arshad is accused of transferring the amount to his personal accounts and using the money for other businesses.

The bureau is also investigating the involvement of Elysium Holdings Pakistan Limited of Kamran Kayani, brother of former army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and some other companies.

Officials acquitted: A Customs court yesterday acquitted two officials of custom department accused of smuggling a rare statue after the prosecution failed to establish the case.

Ammar Mehdi was arrested along with another officer of custom department due to their alleged involved in smuggling of a statue of worth millions.

The officials told the judge that the statue had been recovered. However, they could not produce any solid evidence against Ammar Mehdi and others.

At this, Custom judge Muhammad Ameer acquitted the accused.