The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal has said it is the top priority of the accountability watchdog to bring white collar crime cases to their logical conclusion.
“The bureau is committed to root out corruption in all its forms and manifestations with iron hands,” said an official handout issued on Saturday after a meeting in which NAB chief reviewed overall performance of the graft buster.
He said NAB has devised a three-pronged anti-corruption strategy – of awareness, prevention and enforcement – and the strategy is yielding excellent results. “So far NAB has recovered Rs326 billion from the corrupt and deposited that amount in the national exchequer, he added.
He said the number of complaints, inquiries and investigations undertaken by NAB are almost double as compared to the same period in 2018.
Javed Iqbal said NAB’s prime focus is on cases of cheating public at large by fraudulent financial companies, money laundering, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, misuse of authority and embezzlement of state funds by government servants.
“NAB has recovered Rs30 billion in last 19 months. It has established forensic science lab, having facilities of digital forensics, questioned documents and fingerprint analysis,” he added.
He said NAB has prescribed 10 month-time for disposal of cases, which comprises two months for complaint verification, four months for inquiry and four months for investigation.
According to sources, Iqbal after taking over the coveted responsibilities had given clear slogan of “Accountability for All” and “Faith of NAB – Corruption Free Pakistan”.
During the tenure of incumbent NAB chairman, 640 suspects were apprehended and 610 corruption references were filed against the corrupt elements.
Currently, 1,210 corruption references involving corruption of Rs900 billion are at different stages of hearing at various accountability courts. Sources said NAB has so far received over 408,431 applications, authorised 14,069 complaint verifications, 9,400 inquiries, 4,122 investigations besides arresting 3,813 persons and filing 3,488 corruption references in different accountability courts.
NAB has become role model for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries. Pakistan is the first chairman of Saarc Anti-Corruption Forum. For elimination of corruption, the bureau has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding with China.
The conviction ratio of NAB was 70 per cent last year.
NAB also arrested 43 accused persons allegedly involved in Mudarba and Musharka scams. Some cases have already been decided by the relevant courts. NAB has returned over Rs200 million to affected persons in various fake housing societies cases.
The chairman, regional heads hold Khuli Kutchery separately on the last Thursday of every month. So far over 4,000 complaints have been lodged with the chairman.