KARACHI - An accountability court in Karachi on Monday reissued non-bailable arrest warrants for Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Babar Ghauri in a reference pertaining to Rs2.8 billion corruption in the Karachi Port Trust (KPT).

Investigation officer of NAB appeared before the court and submitted comply report regarding the arrest of the main accused Babar Ghori stating that several raids have been conducted to arrest him but the suspect was not traced, the court expressed its dissatisfaction on the IO report. The NAB official has also submitted a report pertaining travel history of Ghauri and pleaded to grant further time for his arrest.

Javid Hanif, member of Sindh assembly of (MQM-P) and other accused were also produced before the court. Shoukat Hayat Advocate submitted a power of attorney on behalf of Javid Hanif.

The court adjourned hearing of the reference till October 18, and also issued direction to arrest the absconders in the next hearing.

According to the NAB prosecution, eight men, including Ghouri, in connivance with each other had illegally regularised 940 employees of KPT, causing Rs2.8bn loss to the national exchequer.

Other accused including former KPT chairperson Javed Hanif, Rauf Akthar Farooqui, former director Gwadar port, Seras Ahmed, Muhammad Sharif, Muhammad Iqbal and Ameer Ali Brhoi.

Earlier, the NAB officials have informed that court that the former federal minister Babar Ghauri was declared an absconder in the case, as he failed attending NAB inquiry. In the reference, the NAB has leveled charges of corruption, misuse of authority and 940 illegal appointments against the nominated accused.

The prosecution stated that the former KPT chairperson played, along with Ghauri, a direct role in the illegal appointments that were made against the KPT rules and regulations without any advertisement.

It has also been alleged that many people who were illegally appointed in the KPT were criminals. The appointments reportedly caused the national exchequer a loss of billions of rupees.

The NAB stated that during Ghauri’s tenure, about 1,200 people were illegally appointed in Karachi Port Trust (KPT), wherein 125 grade 17 officers were also hired. However, all the appointees were hired in one night, the reference stated.

Ghauri’s own party leader, Amir Khan had leveled corruption allegations on him by alleging that he (Ghauri) owns properties of millions of dollars in American, owns 31 petrol pumps here in Karachi. Khan had also alleged that Ghauri has run away after looting from here.