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April 20, 2019

'NAB getting better, notorious criminals on radar'

Top Story

April 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, on Friday said there is an improvement in the working of the watchdog and they have resolved to arrest the notorious criminals.

He said eradication of corruption is the top-most priority of NAB observing absolute professionalism, transparency and maintaining merit. “Corruption is mother of all evils which undermines development and is one of the major hurdles in the way of prosperity and progress of the country,” he said while chairing a meeting to review the performance of NAB at NAB Headquarters.

He said NAB was established as Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organisation which is assigned with the responsibility of elimination of corruption and corrupt practices and recover looted money from the corrupt elements. “Since its inception, NAB has deposited Rs303 billion in the national exchequer which is a record achievement,” he said. He said that NAB’s main focus is on mega corruption cases of money laundering, embezzlement of state funds, cheating public at large, housing societies and cooperative societies scams, fraudulent financial companies, bank frauds and misuse of authority, etc. “Since NAB’s operational methodology comprises complaint verification, inquiry and investigation and finally to a corruption reference in the respected Accountability Court,” he said.

Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal said the NAB has rationalised its workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases. He said a system of Combined Investigation Team (CIT) system has been made effective on the basis of best practices in order to benefit from the experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers. “This is not only lending quality to the work but also ensuring that no single individual can influence the official proceedings of NAB,” he said. The NAB chairamn said that NAB had adopted enforcement-based approach in its fight against corruption. “Special focus is therefore being given to awareness and prevention activities besides enforcement policy to make people especially youth at large aware about the ill effects of corruption at an early stage,” he said.

He said NAB has received 44,315 complaints during the last 16 months which is almost double from the previous year. The NAB chairman said the NAB has filed 590 corruption references in respective accountability courts during the last 16 months which is an excellent achievement as compared to last five years of NAB. On the basis of across the board accountability under its enforcement policy, he said the NAB has arrested 569 accused and recovered Rs4,200 million from corrupt elements and deposited all amount in the national exchequer during the last 16 months. “The recovery made by NAB during the last 16 months has been then returned to hundreds of victims and some government departments,” he said. The NAB chairman directed all the DGs to conduct complaint verification, inquiries and investigations on the basis of solid evidence in accordance with law and ensure self-respect of every person.

Meanwhile, NAB arrested former water and power secretary Shahid Rafi in the rental power projects corruption case. According to NAB sources, Rafi was arrested in a raid at his residence in the federal capital, while the NAB team also seized important documents from his house.

The former federal secretary was shifted to the NAB Rawalpindi office after arrest. He is expected to be presented before an accountability court today (Saturday) morning where NAB will seek his physical remand. The anti-graft watchdog is investigating the former federal secretary for alleged corruption in awarding the contract for a rental power project to a private company. In February, the NAB Executive Board in a meeting presided over by chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal rejected Rafi’s request to transfer his corruption reference to Islamabad from Quetta.

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