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April 16, 2018

Offshore companies: NAB chairman seeks report on inquiry against 435 Pakistanis


April 16, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal has sought progress report on the ongoing inquiry against 435 Pakistani citizens who own offshore companies established in Panama and British Virgin Islands.

The NAB chairman earlier directed that no pressure or influence whatsoever concerned to Panama inquiry would be taken into consideration at all and inquiry would be conducted transparently and purely on merit. He also sought report about coordination and cooperation of all stakeholders who earlier gathered information from key institutions including the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) about inquiry of 435 Pakistanis who had established offshore companies.

Justice Javed Iqbal sought progress report on the ongoing inquiry against the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in order to pinpoint the reasons for no functionality of the entity and also the government’s apathy on the issue. The NAB chairman directed to fix responsibility of squandering billions of rupees in the PSM.

It may be mentioned here that National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Industries and Production had taken notice of the Steel Mills issue and asked the NAB to take action against the responsible.

Justice Javed Iqbal said the NAB’s proactive anti-corruption strategy has proved very successful to eradicate corruption which has become the voice of the whole nation today. He said the NAB has proved itself with its actions against the corrupt across the board without any pressure and favouritism. Due to this reason, he said, the whole nation is lauding the NAB’s efforts for fulfilling its promise.

The NAB chairman said that today due to the Bureau’s performance, its prestige has been restored by not caring about duress and browbeating of the corruption accused. He said the NAB has initiated complaint verifications, inquiries and investigations against politicians, bureaucrats and ex-military officers across the board on allegations of corruption etc. he said the indiscriminate actions have increased the prestige of the NAB manifold, adding that the aim of the NAB is to apprehend the corrupt and deposit the looted amount in the national exchequer.

“The NAB has filed 197 corruption references in the accountability courts in the six months which is a record achievement as investigation of mega and white collar crimes is very difficult and it takes years but when your aim and mission is clear, then everything becomes possible,” he said. The NAB during the six months arrested 226 accused in different cases, completed 55 complaint verifications, 39 inquiries and 33 investigations have been authorised, whereas 27 accused have been convicted by the accountability courts.

Justice Javed Iqbal said the NAB not only reviews the performance of all regional bureaus on regular basis but also monitors progress on all public complaints listened by him and all regional DGs of NAB at their respective regional bureaus related to corruption and corrupt practices on the last on Thursday of every month. Due to this reason, he said, the number of complaints has been increased as compared to the same period of last year.

He said the comparative figures are indicative of the hard work and transparency being put in by all ranks of the NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty.

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