LAHORE - As the investigations have been completed and real culprits fully identified, some stunning disclosures have come to the surface in connection with Harris Steel Scam, the biggest fraud in the history of country's banking sector. The former president of Bank of Punjab, Hamesh Khan, fled the country after committing the fraud while the bank and other authorities probing the matter are under immense pressure to hush up the issue. Interestingly, Hamesh Khan sneaked out of the country when his name was on the Exit Control List (ECL). Well-placed sources disclosed that Hamesh Khan had committed the fraud in connivance with Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, the Chief Executive of Harris Steels Industries and Company. They used fake NICs, fake company documents and bogus collaterals of the barren and useless land situated at the banks of rivers having no market value. The Internal Audit Report of the BoP has revealed that during the presidency of Hamesh Khan, 23 fictitious accounts were opened and later huge finance facilities were sanctioned to these accounts. Ironically all the 23 accounts were opened on fake NICs and with inadequate securities. "The accounts were opened in the name of fictitious persons carrying fake ID cards. The collateral/security which were provided against the financial facility, sanctioned to the 23 accounts, were bogus, extraordinarily high valued or based on fake evaluation of properties," sources revealed, quoting excerpts of the report of the internal auditor. Later, the State Bank of Pakistan constituted an inspection team, which conducted the inquiry and confirmed that the loans were sanctioned to the Harris Steels on fake evaluation. Sources said that the SBP inspection team had also reported that Harris Steel is the leading beneficiary of these borrowings as the amount of Rs 9 billion was sanctioned to the Harris Steels and associated accounts. Following the report of its inspection team, SBP directed the BoP management 'to close the accounts and go for provision'. The top bank management then did not pay heed to the SBP instruction by using delaying tactics, sources added. Then the SBP issued letters to the BoP management stating that these huge loans were sanctioned against the law and the rules and regulations. Even before these 23 accounts were opened, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal manipulated to open three accounts in the BoP in the name of Harris Steels, Haider Steels and Prime Steels in 2005. The directors and guarantors in these three accounts were also bogus and each was carrying three ID cards at a time with different names and address. The Bank of Punjab sanctioned Rs 5 billion loans to Harris Steels, Haider Steels and Prime Steels on the fake documents in 2005. Later, Sheikh Afzal and company opened 23 fresh accounts, as the bank was not in a position to sanction more loans after lending them Rs 5 billion. The bank later sanctioned another Rs 4.5 billion loan to these 23 accounts. With management highly favourable, Sheikh Afzal and company managed to get loans worth over Rs 9 billion in just two years from the BOP, which was unprecedented as the banks never sanction such a huge loan to an unknown company in such a short span of time. The accused, soon after the NAB started investigations, approached the Lahore High Court and filed various writ petitions for quashing the investigation started by the bureau. The LHC in response to these petitions passed an order dated June 18, 2008 that no uncalled harassment should be caused to the petitioners. The source said that during the course of investigation, the NAB arrested bank employees involved in the fraud and conducted numerous raids on the properties owned by the Harris Steels. During the raids, the NAB recovered fake CINCs, property documents and stationery of various fictitious companies from the properties owned by Sheikh Afzal and others. The NAB also ceased property file of the DHA and placed caution on CDC accounts of the accused. It was further revealed that the accused had made the investments in the Stock Market and real estate business. On July 22, 2008 the accused went to the Supreme Court and filed five constitutional petitions for the transfer of the case from the LHC to the SC or any other high court of the country, the sources maintained. The SC gave an interim relief to the accused immediately and directed the NAB to maintain the position that existed prior to June 18, 2008. On September 15, 2008 the apex court decided in the favour of the accused and transferred the petitions from the LHC to the Islamabad High Court. The petition was transferred from the LHC to the IHC on the ground that the investigation agency was a threat to the petitioners. At present, these petitions are pending before the IHC which has also stayed the proceedings under the reference before the NAB court Lahore. It is important to mention here that the case was transferred to the IHC from the LHC following the change of mind of a LHC judge who refused to be part of the panel hearing the case. "One of us (Justice Tariq Shamim) would not like to hear this petition. Office is directed to place this matter along with the connected matters today before some other learned Division Bench of this Court after obtaining necessary orders from the Honourable Chief Justice," said the order sheet of the LHC Lahore issued on July 15, 2008. In June 2007, the NAB had initiated an inquiry against the account holders of 23 fictitious accounts, directors and employees of the Harris Steel, Haider Steel and Prime Steel, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, Harris Afzal, Hamesh Khan, Aziz-ul-Hameed, General Manager, Shoaib Qureshi, Muhammad Ziaul Haq and Nauman Arif, the employees of the BoP. According to the investigations carried out by the BoP management, the criminals used unique ways to deceive the banking system. There was nobody to question Hamesh Khan, the then BoP President and considered a very close friend of General (r) Pervez Musharraf. According to the BoP records, Muhammad Munir, Muhammad Afzal and Jamil, all were possessing more than one NICs, which had also been confirmed to the BoP and NAB by Nadra. Muhammad Munir, director Harris Steel, possesses two NICs. One NIC bears the data as "Muhammad Munir s/o Muhammad Latif, House # 98, Block-H/3, Model Town Lahore". The other NIC possessed by Munir bears the information as "Muhammad Jamil S/O Muhammad Hanif, and same address House # 98, Block-H/3, Model Town Lahore". Both the NICs bear the same photograph and same signatures. Mohammad Jamil has also two National Identity Cards. One of his NIC bears information as "Muhammad Jamil S/O Muhammad Hanif, House-140, Nai Abadi, Kot Lakhpat, Lahore." The second NIC possessed by Jamil bears information as "Sheikh Muhammad Jamil S/O Muhammad Hanif, House# 95-A, Model Town Lahore". Nadra had verified to the BoP and NAB that both the NICs possessed by Jamil were bearing same photograph and signatures but different NIC numbers and addresses. Muhammad Munir obtained the financial facility from the BoP for the companies, Harris Steel, Wisdom Trading (Pvt) Ltd, Al-Hammad Enterprises and Better Traders by using all fake documents. According to BoP officials last three companies were fake. Following the scam was unearthed, Muhammad Munir managed to merge the accounts of last three companies into the account of Harris Steel in connivance with Hamesh Khan. According to the BoP officials by doing so Munir confessed his crime. An official while commenting on the situation said that the superior court before hearing or making any order should first decide as to which petitioner it is giving justice, either to Muhammad Munir or Muhammad Jamil? The next question whether Muhammad Jamil, M Jamil bearing the first address or the second. And next thing to be decided by the court is whether it is Muhammad Jamil or Sheikh Muhammad Jamil. Reportedly, the other major financial facility was obtained in the name of Ali Ijaz for companies Haider Steel, Unique Enterprises and Lucky Enterprises. Unique Enterprises and Lucky Enterprises were fake companies. Ali Ijaz, who is basically an accountant in Harris Steel, also possessed multiple NICs, on which he used to commit this fraud. One of his NICs bears the information "Ali Ijaz s/o Ali Hussain, NIC # 35202-2985126-3, House # 118-E, Gulshan Park, Bhatta, Kohar, Lahore". The other NIC possessed by Ijaz bears information as "Abid Iftikhar s/o Iftikhar Ahmad, NIC# 35201-8381030-7, House #212-A/1, Johar Town, Lahore". Nadra has confirmed to the BoP and NAB that both the NICs were of Ijaz and that everything was different except picture on the NIC. A total of Rs 5 billion financial facility was availed in the names of Harris Steel and Haider Steel directly while the remaining amount of around Rs 4 billion was all on the name of 23 fake companies. The entire amount which later swelled to more than Rs 13 billion, was merged into the three accounts of Harris Steel, Haider Steel and Prime Steel. The former president of the BoP and its former board of directors only a few days before leaving their charge not only facilitated this merger of accounts but also rescheduled the whole amount for next 18 years, asking the borrowers to pay first instalment in 2011 with no mark-up. The third major financial facility was obtained by a person of the same mafia namely Waris Malik. Waris obtained the financial facility for the companies, Prime Steel, Roshan Enterprises, by using all fake documents. Waris too possessed multiple NICs. One of his NICs gave information as "Waris Malik s/o Karamat Ali, House 95-A, Model Town, Lahore" while the other NIC bears information as "Shiekh Muhammad Jamil s/o Muhammad Hanif, with same residence address 95-A, Model Town, Lahore". Both the NICs possess the same picture. The address "House # 95-A, Model Town, Lahore" repeatedly used by this mafia, which is originally possessed by one Sardar Muhammad Iqbal, who is a retired professor of the Punjab University and is residing in the house for the last 11 years. These two accounts in which Waris obtained financial facility were later merged into the account of Haider Steel. According to sources, Waris never used his original name and documents for committing this fraud. According to the record of Harris Steel and Haider Steel under possession of NAB, this person Abid Raza (Waris) is basically an employee of Muhammad Muneer and Muhammad Afzal, the petitioners in the case being heard by the SC. The mafia had submitted more than 200 land collaterals for availing this facility.