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Iesco Found Involved In Embezzling Millions Of Rupees Through Fake Bills

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Friday bashed officials of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) over embezzlement of millions of rupees through the collection of bogus bills from power consumers.

The billing department of Iesco has been fleecing consumers since the past four years, but the scam could not be discovered by the company’s management or the audit firm.

Meanwhile, Iesco CEO Shahid Iqbal told the Senate Standing Committee on Power that electricity bills were collected from power consumers through bogus and fake stamps, adding that a scam of Rs43 million was identified in a single day.

While acknowledging that the scam has been continuing since the past four years, Iqbal said, “We have terminated officers of the Finance Department involved in the scandal.”

He further revealed that power consumers were also a part of the scam as they were depositing their bills in the Revenue Office-I with a 30 per cent discount.

According to the CEO, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was investigating the case.

It merits mention here that the head of Circle-I Revenue Office was found involved in the fraud. In total, around Rs239 million had been embezzled in the past two years as the amount was not deposited in the company accounts. The above-mentioned revenue officer has been arrested.

Committee Chairman Fida Muhammad Khan inquired from Iqbal whether Iesco officials were asleep when millions of rupees were embezzled in a single day. “This shows that other power distribution companies may be facing a similar situation,” he pointed out.

Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak requested the Power Division to direct all the distribution companies to check their record and provide all details to the committee. He also sought details of similar cases that have been unearthed in distribution companies in the past one decade.

Responding to the request, the Power Division secretary said that he would give orders to all the companies to comply with the instructions of the committee.

Further, Senator Wazir questioned as to why the scam could not be unearthed by the audit firm linked to Iesco. It was decided that the committee would discuss this matter further with the officials of the Auditor General of Pakistan in its next meeting.

Wazir also suggested that the distribution companies should avoid wasting public money on the installation of AMI metres, saying that the solution to curtailing power theft and illegal connections was in laying a network of Aerial Bundled Cables.

On the occasion, Senator Sirajul Haq asked as to why the government was not introducing a pre-paid card system in the power sector as the system was being successfully adopted by other countries.

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