LAHORE - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Thursday arrested Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Abdur Rauf Khoso and former CM’s adviser Zahoor Wattoo for cheating public at large.

Mr Zahoor Wattoo - the owner of a private TV channel and adviser to former Punjab CM Pervaiz Elahi - was arrested for his involvement in a scam of Rs1.5 billion in Formanites Housing Scheme.

Khoso from Kashmore has been arrested on the charge of occupying lands illegally and corruption. They are likely to be produced in a NAB court today.

The accused, in connivance with one another, launched the housing scheme in 1997 and lured the general public to invest/purchase plots in the housing society. The number of plots sold out to the public was far greater than those existed in the approved plan.

Moreover, there were frequent instances of duplication and cancellation of plots without any justification and plausible reasons.

Further, land reserved for amenities was illegally transformed into residential and commercial plots and sold out to the general public. Public was forced to pay excessive development charges.

In 2003-2004, the accused illegally started booking and selling plots in Phase-II of the housing scheme for which no land was specified in the first place, and continued the practice recklessly over a long period of time.

More than 1100 affectees have filed complaints with NAB Lahore, saying they were deprived of their hard earned money while the accused used the ill-gotten money for their personal gains.

The arrested persons are reported to have amassed huge assets and utilized the money to open new ventures.