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September 16, 2020

Billions looted, not pennies: NAB chairman

Top Story

September 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal Tuesday said that the name of the country had been allegedly placed in the grey list of FATF due to the billions of rupees corruption committed by those who claim they did not devour even penny.

“The plight of country including poverty, unemployment and absence of health facilities was the result of billions of rupees money laundering,” he said this during cheque distribution ceremony among Mudarba affected people. In the ceremony, NAB Rawalpindi distributed over Rs240 million among 2,698 affectees. NAB chairman distributed cheques among the affectees.

Justice Javed said, “If NAB was a failed institution, where would this Rs364 billion have come from” Reference cases worth Rs1,200 billion are being heard in the courts.

“No one (in the references) committed insignificant corruption — there is millions, billions worth of corruption. Everything will be clear if the cases are decided as soon as possible,” he added.

NAB boss said money laundering of billions of rupees was committed in name of Faloda wala and Chabri walas. “The NAB only conducts investigations of white collar crimes as some information has to be collected from abroad,” he said. He said the flour and sugar scam probes would be taken to logical conclusion and nobody would be spared.

He outrightly rejected the impression of lopsided accountability and said some people remained at helm of affairs for 30 years and some for only two years, they are busy in seeking bails. “The direction of winds is changing fast,” he said. He said there is a difference between street crimes and white collar crimes.

He said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah while addressing the constituent assembly in 1947 had stated that bribery and nepotism the main ills being confronted to the country. “Corruption is the root cause of all ills,” he said.

He said the NAB is the chairman of Saarc Anti-Corruption Forum and is role model for Saarc countries. “World Economic Forum, Transparency International, Pildat, and Mashaal Pakistan had already lauded NAB’s efforts of corruption,” he said.

He said the NAB has so far recovered Rs466.069 billion and deposited in the national exchequer, whereas Rs364 billion had been recovered and deposited into national exchequer in last three years, which is significant success of NAB.

Right now, he said 1,240 cases having accumulative value of Rs1200 billion are in various accountability courts. “The number of accountability courts are being enhanced on the orders of Chief Justice of Pakistan,” he said.

He said the NAB has initiated Combined Investigation Team (CIT) to take benefit of collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers. “The CIT comprising director, additional directors, investigation officers, legal council and financial and land officers,” he said.

Justice (R) Javed Iqbal said the NAB is becoming even better institution as its officers are working diligently and honestly and the NAB was activated in 2017 after introducing reforms in it. The NAB chairman said the grant of bail to any accused is not logical conclusion of any case. He said the court had granted remand in 99.9 percent corruption cases to NAB. “This is worth noting that courts grant remand after analysing evidence,” he said.

He lauded the performance of NAB Rawalpindi as the bureau played important role in enhancing overall performance of NAB. DG NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Naeem Mangi vowed eradication of corruption under the leadership of Justice Javed Iqbal.

He said NAB Rawalpindi had recovered Rs297 billion directly or indirectly and deposited into national exchequer. He said the NAB Rawalpindi has filed 77 reference of corruption, arrested 150 suspects, and managed the convictions of 55 culprits.

He said the NAB Rawalpindi officers are working diligently and performed excellently despite COVID-19 pandemic.

In Mudarba case, the biggest dacoity in country’s history, the hard earned money of innocent people were plundered.

Due to effective persuasion of NAB, Mufti Ehsan, the main accused in Mudarba case had been awarded 10 years imprisonment and Rs10 billion fine.