Friday Sep 01, 2017
The Chinese government has clarified that Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd, a Chinese firm alleged to be involved in a corruption scandal linked to the Multan metro bus project, was not working in Pakistan.
Lijian Zhao, Deputy Head of Mission at Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, responding to a tweet said that the Chinese firm in question does not operate in the country.
“Thx for advice. This Chinese company Yabeite was not working in Pakistan. It made up some fake letters to cheat government and was punished,” he tweeted.
In another tweet, the diplomat said CPEC projects are transparent and clean and there is zero tolerance for corruption.
Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd, a Chinese company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), is being probed by Chinese authorities after unusual transactions of money were detected in the company’s accounts.
Pakistan, however, came into focus only after the Chinese company informed the Beijing authorities that the money involved in its unusual transactions was actually the profits it had earned from the Multan Metro Bus project through its Pakistani partner company Capital Engineering and Construction Company Pvt Ltd.
According to documents available with The News, the China Securities Regulatory Commission approached the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and asked for its assistance pursuant to International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCOs) and Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) about Jiangsu Yabaite and Capital Engineering and Construction Company. The CSRC also inquired from the SECP whether these two companies participated in the construction of Multan Metro Bus Project as claimed by Yabaite.
The SECP approached the State Bank of Pakistan as well as the Federal Board of Revenue to know if there is any bank account of Capital Engineering Company in the country, or any record of tax returns. The SECP also wrote to Pakistan Engineering Council to know if any such engineering company was registered with the council but no such company was found in the council’s record.
Yabaite, in light of the investigations, submitted to the CSRC two appreciation letters: one from Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, another from Senator Kulsoom Perveen and one blank paper signed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, which was endorsing Senator Kulsoom Perveen’s letter in May 2017.
The Punjab chief minister, as well as the two senators, have categorically denied writing any such letter. Shehbaz lashed out at media reports earlier this week, saying they were spreading false information regarding the Multan metro bus project and if any evidence exists, it should be presented in the next 48 hours.
He further claimed that propaganda was being spread against the provincial government.
“The allegation was that Rs3 billion was taken as kickback for the Multan metro bus project," he said in a press conference. "Even if misappropriation of a single penny is proven then the public may hold me accountable."