LAHORE - The father and brother of the Hammad Arshad, the main accused in Pakistan’s biggest land scam case, were bailed yesterday by the Lahore High Court.

His father Muhammad Arshad, and Murad, the accused’s brother, had sought anticipatory bail to avoid arrest and police custody in relation to the Rs16 billion Defence Housing Authority land fraud.

Hammad Arshad was arrested last Friday on suspicion of selling fake title deeds for plots in a new luxury development. He is alleged to have made Rs16 billion by swindling unsuspecting buyers.

His brother and father feared they too would be arrested and applied to the court for protective bail. They were granted bail on payment of a Rs100,000 surety bond.

On January 11, an accountability court extended for three days the physical remand of Hammad Arshad for his alleged involvement in the scam after NAB officials pleaded the court that his physical remand was required for further investigation.

NAB officials allege that in 2009 the suspect’s company had secured a contract from DHA-EME , the Defence housing authority, to acquire 25,000 kanals land to build the new DHA City colony. However, the company failed to acquire the agreed land but still issued allotment letters and collected around Rs15.47 billion from unwary buyers.

The suspect was accused of transferring the amount to his personal accounts and using it for his other business. The bureau also alleged Elysium Holdings Pakistan Limited, owned by Kamran Kiyani, the brother of Pakistan’s former army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, was involved in the scam.

Last year NAB detectives issued a notice to Mr. Kamran Kayani ordering him to explain his role in the scam. However, NAB officials denied if they issued any notice to Mr. Kiyani.

Naeem Ahmad, the suspect’s lawyer, said his client was not involved in the scam rather he was implicated in it. He joined the investigation and he would be released soon, said the lawyer.