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Opinion

Capital suggestion

September 16, 2018
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Anti-corruption

Opinion

Capital suggestion

September 16, 2018

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The Pakistani model: As per reliable reports, an “estimated Rs236 billion was illegally transferred to 37 countries in the past five years”. For the record, only “103 of 1,550 arrested accused were convicted”. For the record, only “one of 256 filed key cases of money laundering was decided by the courts in the last three years”.

FIA, Pakistan’s premier agency for curbing financial crimes, has a conviction rate of 6.6 percent. Yes, the director-general of FIA is appointed by the prime minister and is responsible for curbing money laundering, ‘hawala’ and ‘hundi’ transactions. The FIA, headquartered in Islamabad, functions under the interior ministry and is the agency responsible for coordinating with Interpol and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to a World Justice Project survey report, “Pakistan ranks at 106 among 113 countries”.

NAB is “Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organisation. It is charged with the responsibility of elimination of corruption”. Here’s NAB’s performance: In 2017, a total of 26,551 complaints were filed with NAB of which 26,095 could not be ‘verified’. A total of 456 complaints went through the ‘inquiry’ stage of which 112 were eventually convicted.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) of Singapore has a conviction rate of 97 percent. Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has a conviction rate of 84 percent. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has a conviction rate of 80 percent.

The Saudi model: In 2017, all private jets were grounded. In 2017, guests at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh were asked to vacate their rooms and some 500 “prominent Saudi Arabian princes, government ministers and business people” were arrested (and sent to the hotel). A total of 26 new judges were appointed and 2,000 bank accounts within Saudi Arabia were frozen.

Here’s the performance of this model: Of the 500 arrested, one percent proved their innocence. Of the 500 arrested, four percent said that they would fight their cases. Of the 500 arrested, 95 percent said that they were willing to return looted wealth. According to Reuters, “Saudi Arabia’s government has arranged to seize more than $100 billion through financial settlements with businessmen and officials detained in its crackdown on corruption”.

The Chinese model: China’s anti-corruption campaign is called ‘Catching Tigers and Flies’; high-level officials are ‘tigers’ and local civil servants are ‘flies’. So far, more than 100,000 ‘tigers and flies’ have been indicted, including 120 national leaders, a Politburo Standing Committee members, executives of state-owned companies, and high-ranking officials.

Here’s the methodology: the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has been depoliticised and thoroughly professionalised. The CCDI has been given jurisdiction over all sectors, including law, mining, the media, petroleum, real estate, railways, and the military.

The CCDI collects evidence covertly against a ‘tiger’ or a ‘fly’. The subject is then detained for investigation, and interrogated. The CCDI’s has achieved a success rate of 99 percent.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh

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