Pakistan’s former ambassador accused of embezzling Rs19m in Bulgaria


ISLAMABAD, JAN 6 (DNA) – Pakistan’s accountability bureau has filed a corruption reference against a former ambassador for using embassy funds for personal expenses.

Babar Hashmi has been accused of working with former accountant Tufail Qazi and embezzling Rs19 million from 2016 to 2018. The government released the funds for its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.

NAB Rawalpindi conducted the inquiry on the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two men have been accused of embezzling $96,052 (Rs15 million) and 45,758 Bulgarian lev (Rs4 million) for paying bills of expensive hotels and “throwing parties”.

“The embezzlement continued for two years and surfaced when a new accountant took charge of the embassy,” the bureau said in the reference. “During the investigation, it was established that both men being official signatories withdrew funds from official accounts of the embassy maintained at Bulbank Sofia, Bulgaria and used them for personal benefit/gain.”

Hashmi and Qazi failed to submit a bank reconciliation statement to the chief accounts office of the foreign ministry, which is a violation of rules, the bureau said.

Qazi has been arrested in the case. The court will take up the case after the scrutiny by the Registrar’s Office.=DNA