Logical conclusion of white collar corruption cases is top priority, says NAB chairman

Daily Times

* Justice (r) Javed Iqbal says NAB has rationalised its workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Sunday said that the bureau will deal with corrupt elements, proclaimed offenders and absconders with iron hands.

In a statement, he said that NAB’s top most priority is logical conclusion of white collar mega corruption cases on scientific basis by using modern techniques, cases of cheating public, housing societies/cooperative societies, fraudulent financial companies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, misuse of authority, money laundering and embezzlement of state funds etc.

He said NAB’s major achievements has been the recovery of around Rs 342 billion of ill-gotten money of people at large which we had deposited in the national exchequer and not a single penny has been received by NAB officers. He said that NAB has rationalised its workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases putting a maximum limit of 10 months from complaint verification to inquiry to investigation and finally to a reference in the accountability court.

He said that NAB has also introduced Combine Investigation Team (CIT) system 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 that NAB on bilateral cooperation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China to streamline and structure and cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption. In the context of CPEC, this cooperation will further boost confidence in projects undertaken in Pakistan. He said that an effective accountability mechanism is quintessential for economic growth, investment and stability of social order. The intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a prerequisite for promoting investment and economic growth. Since its inception, NAB had adopted the Enforcement based approach in its fight against corruption. Special focus is therefore being given to Awareness and Prevention activities besides Enforcement to educate the people at large about the ill effects of corruption.

He said that NAB has initiated complaint verifications, inquiries and investigations by adopting “Accountability for All” policy across the board on alleged allegations of corruption and corrupt practices. The indiscriminate action has increased the prestige of NAB manifold due to indiscriminate and visible action against the mighty as the aim of NAB is to apprehend the corrupt and deposit the looted amount in the national exchequer. NAB has filed 600 corruption references in Accountability Courts in the last 23 months which is a record achievement as investigation of mega and white collar crimes is very challenging task and it takes years. NAB on regularly basis review its performance and also progress on ongoing inquiries and references. Due to this reason, the number of complaints has been increased as compared to the same period of last year from Nov 2018 to Nov 2019. The comparative figures are indicative of the hard work, transparency being put in by all ranks of NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty.

He said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has established more than 50 thousands Character Building Societies (CBSs) in universities/colleges during the last 23 months to aware students about ill effects of corruption as youth is considered a vanguard in this fight.

NAB has devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System in NAB in order to review and further improve the performance of Officers/Officials of NAB. Under this grading system, NAB Regional Bureaus are being evaluated at a given criteria on annual basis. He said that has developed an effective Monitoring and Evaluation System catering the needs of all concerned having salient features of maintenance of data at each stage including complaint entry, complaint verification, inquiry, investigation, prosecution stage and record preservation of Regional Board Meetings and ability to analyze data in qualitative and quantitative form having warnings and alarms system for violators. He said that NAB has established its first state of the Art Forensic Science LAB (FSL) in NAB Rawalpindi which has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis.

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