ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed on Wednesday that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s inquiry showed that a loss of Rs 69 billion was caused to the national exchequer in the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) containers scam.

Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for FBR, told a two-member bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain that earlier, the loss was estimated around Rs52 billion but the inquiry revealed that the loss stood at Rs 69 billion.

The bench directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a detailed report about the missing containers case today (Thursday).

The court in November last year referring the matter to NAB had ordered it to conduct broad inquiry into ISAF containers scam in light of Federal Tax Ombudsman and submit its report at the Registrar office fortnightly. The FTO has informed the court that as many as 28,802 commercial Afghan transit trade containers and 3,396 non-commercial containers were known to have not crossed the Pak-Afghan border.

Justice Jawwad expressing annoyance asked the deputy prosecutor general (DPG) of NAB why the bureau failed to submit fortnightly when it was ordered to do so. DPG Fozi Zafar said a committee - comprising of FBR chairman, NAB chief and other concerned officials - has been formed to devise strategy that how to recover billion of rupees from those involved in the NATO missing containers scam. He said due to Eid holidays the NAB could not file the report and requested the court to give some time.

Justice Jawwad rejecting Fozi's request said that the NAB has to submit the report on August 26, which has not been filed till to-date. The huge national wealth has been plundered but the NAB not showing seriousness on the issue, he added.

Qazi Anwar appearing on behalf of containers owners said that still neither the FBR has supplied ISAF containers complete record to the NAB. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on that remarked when the NAB interested it get the record of any case in minutes and in two hours start preparation to go to London for obtaining the record.

Anwar further informed the court that American specialists in Afghanistan have also rejected the concerns shown by the then Chairman FBR relating to monetary loss due to missing containers of NATO.

Justice Khilji said in the 18th Amendment free education till class 10th was declared fundamental rights of the citizens. But in the budget no funds were allocated for this purpose, adding if out Rs.69 billion plundered money Rs50 billion are spent on education then there would be big change in the country.

Recalling the embezzlement in Iqra surcharge, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said the tax was levied for the development of education sector in the country but nobody know where the amount collected under the head of Iqra surcharge has been spent.

Fozi Zafar informed the court NAB officials are trying to complete the investigation regarding ISAF containers soon. He said in order to check the status of a total 112,000 Cross Border Certificates CBCs, which were issued manually, more four months time was required. The court dismissing NAB request asked Mr. Fozi to submit detailed report step by step today (Thursday) and adjourned the hearing.