Punjab mining officials booked over illegal extraction of gold from Indus River


LAHORE: The Punjab Anti-Corruption Department on Tuesday registered a case against Punjab Mines and Minerals Department officials and others for illegal extraction of gold worth billions of rupees from Indus River near Attock Khurd village.

The anti-corruption department has registered a case against five government employees, including former DG Mines and Mineral Department Zafar Javed, ex-deputy director Rashid Latif, former managers Rafiullah Khan and Rizwan Saqib Bajwa, former geologist Usman Ali, and contractor Mukhtar Ahmed, who is the director of Haihong Superpak (Pvt) Ltd.

According to the FIR, not only a new zone, with placer gold deposits, was illegally created for extracting gravel and sand in the riverbank, but also allegedly allowed for illegal extraction of gold worth billions of rupees.

The enquiry team was constituted on July 26, following complaints of awarding the contract on a reduced price.

Investigators have claimed that the creation of new zone for gravel and sand on Indus River bank near Wessa Khurd, Attock was illegal and unjustified and allowed with mala-fide intentions to pave the way for extraction of placer gold from the site.

They also found out that the contract price was illegally reduced from Rs303 million to Rs100 million without any justified calculations to give undue benefit to the contractor company M/S Haihong Superpak Private Limited.

The contractor company, with the help of the Punjab Mines and Mineral Department, subsequently started extraction of placer gold from the site, causing a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer, the report added.

It is to be mentioned here that gold extraction along Indus, one of the largest rivers of the world, Hunza and Gilgit rivers in the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region is known from ancient times.


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