ISLAMABAD, Dec. 11 — Former President of Punjab Bank Hamesh Khan, who had plundered billions of rupees and written off loans in equal amount for leaders of former ruling party the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) group, has been arrested by US authorities, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) announced here Thursday.

The NAB said the US Justice Department informed Pakistan authorities Thursday that Hamesh Khan had been arrested and would be handed over to Pakistan shortly.

Hamesh Khan was wanted by Punjab Police after Mian Shehbaz took over as the Chief Minister.

But a close associate of President Asif Ali Zardari, Dr.Qayyum Soomro, picked up Hamesh Kahan in his official car, No.IDP-1, and took him to Peshawar, where the jurisdiction of Punjab Police ends.

Dr.Qayyume Soomro also facilitated a US bound flight for Hamesh Khan.

A spokesman of the NAB said “the government had contacted Interpol for the arrest of Hamesh Khan, after which the arrest has been made”.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed to issue an arrest warrant for Hamesh Khan and his son, over a Rs 9 billion Bank of Punjab loan scam, as well as for the owner of Haris Steel and his son Haris Afzal, and industrialist Seth Yaqoob and his daughter Irum Yaqoob. Their assets had already been frozen.