LAHORE - A cartel of 17 officials of the LDA allegedly involved in 133 exemption files scam of Johar Town is being provided a safe exit under political influence. The exemption files of the plots carry value of more than Rs 2 billion. The evidence to bail out the accused is clear from the fact that two out of three corruption cases, registered against them by Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on the directives of LDA authorities two months back, have been dropped while efforts are underway to quash last case just to clear them from corruption charges. So much so, the LDA Director General Ifran Ali, considered to be main force behind digging out the scandal, was transferred in a bid to put the whole case in cold storage. ACE registered the cases against the LDA officials including Kashif Awan, son of former senior minister of PPP Mushtaq Awan, Raza Watto, a close relative of known politician Manzoor Ahmed Watto, Shahbaz Ghurki, Tariq Masood, Usman Ghani, Rana Gulzar Ahmed, Irfan Bhatti, Sheikh Farid, Javaid Wasim, Muhammad Aslam, Waheed, Zahid Atta, Farhan Iqbal. Sources disclosed that following initiation of high-level inquiry, three FIRs were registered against the official posted in land development section of the LDA when authority concerned provided solid evidences regarding massive irregularities carried out during 2004-2006 regarding exemption files of plots in Johr Town. LDA official seeking anonymity told The Nation that anti-corruption inquiry team investigated the record in Revenue Department, LDA land acquisition and exemption branch. After the probe of eight weeks, the team said that FIRs were registered in haste without meeting the genuine requirements mandatory to file case against anyone. As there were technical mistakes. So two had been disposed off and one is going to be disposed off soon, they added. Additional Director General Anti-corruption Establishment Sheikh Muhammad Saddiq said it was found that record of seven files of different plots had been tampered and investigation was underway in this regard. Sources revealed that scam was unearthed after LDA detected 133 bogus exemption files in Johar Town worth billions of rupees. The authority concerned sealed all relevant records of its 11 housing schemes. The scam was unearthed during the scrutiny procedure initiated to probe massive irregularities in land audit on the special instructions of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. Sources informed that all the relevant record, which was under the possession of clerks and storekeepers over the last 30 years, had been taken back from them and handed over to joint committee of LDA and department of Anti-corruption. Team comprising Director Anit-Corruption Lahore Region Ch Muhammad Saddiq, Deputy Director General (Headquarters) Ahmed Ali Zafar and LDA Resident Director Audit. Record from Patwaris of Acquisition Branch and Exemption Branch had also been taken into special custody of the team, sources added. As a precautionary measure, the authority concerned also considered to put the names of all suspects on Exit Control List to stop them from slipping way from the country, sources revealed. But later the option was dropped, they added. Following surfacing of the said scam, the LDA schemes falling in Gulberg I, II and III, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Samanabad, Sabzazaar, Johar Town, Gujjar Pura, Taj Pura, Mohlanwal, Gulshan-e-Ravi and other localities are also under scrutiny. LDA had also set up separate record rooms for each housing scheme. Every concerned officer and directorate had been strictly directed not to move the file any further till further orders. The 131 forged files found in Johar Town record include: JTAP-1039, JTAP-1850-, JTAP-A,E, D,C, JTAP-845-B, JTAP-3226, JTAP-1721, D, C, B, A, JTAP-1885, JTAP-N-133, JTAP-2009-A, 3077-A, JTAP-3209, JTAP-3176, JTAP-3208, JTAP-3210, JTAP-377-A, JTAP-3174-A, JTAP-3065-A, JTAP-3172, JTAP-3154-A-B, JTAP-3153-A-D, JTAP-1513, JTAP-1467-1468, JTAP-3191, JTAP-3213-A-B-C, JTAP-3212, JTAP-3211, JTAP-N-3148, JTAP-3199, JTAP-3183, JTAP-3096, JTAP-3188-A, JTAP-2076, JTAP-878, JTAP-N-3185, JTAP-N-3184, JTAP-N-3187, JTAP-3179, JTAP-3181, JTAP-3223, JTAP-3182, JTAP-3193, JTAP-3196, JTAP-3221, JTAP-3220, JTAP-3189, JTAP-3207-A, JTAP-3177, JTAP-3180, JTAP-3178, JTAP-3170, JTAP-3190, JTNB-II-1992, JTNB-11-1910/B-C, JTNB-11-1412/A-B, JTAP-2531, JTNAB-11-1198, JTNB-11-4252, JTNB-11-3463, JTNB-11-3462, JTNB-11-2826, JTNB-11-3399, JTNB-2707, JTNB-11-3398, JTNB-11-3321, JTNB-11-1068, JTNB-11-3321, JTNB-11-2151, JTNB-11-6136, JTNB-11-3459, JTNB-11-2222, JTNB-11-6149, JTNB-6148-A-B, JTNB-11-5743, JTNB-11-5743, JTNB-11-6111, JTNB-11-6125, JTNB-11-5708, JTNB-11-6125, JTNB-11-6104, JTNB-11-6133, JTNB-11-6129, JTNB-11-5679, JTNB-11-5756, JTNB-11-6122, JTNB-11-6100-A, JTNB-11-6101, JTNB-11-6131-A, JTNB-11-4818, JTNB-11-422-A-B-C, JTNB-11-5968-A, JTNB-11-6121, JTNB-11-6108, JTNB-6107, JTNB-11-6062, JTNB-11-5907, JTNB-11-6148.