NAB recovers Rs326bn from corrupt elements

Fawad Maqsood August 17, 2019

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has so far recovered Rs 326 billion from the corrupt elements and deposited into the national exchequer which is a record achievement as comparing to other anti corruption organisations.

According to NAB sources, the main aim of establishing the anti graft watchdog was to eliminate the menace of corruption, recovered the looted amount and deposit it into the national exchequer.

The incumbent chairman immediately after taking over the coveted responsibilities had given clear slogan of “ Accountability for All’ and ‘Faith of Nab –Corruption Free Pakistan’ and transformed the anti graft watchdog a reliable and authentic institution. Supreme Court handed over investigations of Panama Papers, 56 Punjab Public Limited companies, 435 Offshore companies and Fake Accounts Case to NAB.

The chairman introduced numerous reforms in the Bureau. Resultantly, 640 culprits were apprehended, 610 corruption references were filed against the corrupt elements during the tenure of incumbent chairman. Right now 1,210 corruption references involving Rs 900 billion corruption were at different stages of hearing at various accountability courts.

He said NAB has so far received over 408,431 applications, authorized 14,069 complaint verifications, 9400 inquiries, 4,122 investigations besides arresting 3,813 persons and filing 3,488 corruption references in different accountability courts.

He said NAB has become role model for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries. Pakistan was the first chairman of SAARC Anti Corruption Forum. NAB has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China for elimination of corruption.

The performance of NAB has also been appreciated by reputed national and international institutions including Transparency International, Gillani and Gallup Survey, Pildat and World Economic Forum. 59 percent people have expressed confidence over the performance of NAB in a survey conducted by Gillani and Gallup.

He said chairman has introduced standard Grading System in Bureau for evaluating annual performance of its officers. The regional staff is regularly conveyed about the merits and demerits of their performances but also told to overcome their shortcomings. An effective monitoring and evaluation system have also been introduced in NAB for improving its workings.

NAB had fixed ten months time to complete the process right from initiating the investigations to filing a reference against the suspect. The conviction ratio of NAB was 70 percent last year.

NAB has reinvigorated its prosecution and operation divisions by appointing new law officers.

NAB has computerized the complaints and devised a mechanism to inform the complainants about the current status of their complaints.

NAB has arrested 43 accused persons allegedly involved in Mudarba and Muskarka Scams and standing them in the dock. Some cases have already been decided by the relevant courts. NAB has returned over Rs 200 million to effectees of various fake housing societies.

Chairman, regional heads hold Open Ketcheries separately on the last Thursday of every month. So far over 4,000 complainants had lodged complaints with chairman. The chairman has convened 25 Executive Board Meetings authorizing complaint verifications, inquiries.

NAB was using all resources to eliminate corruption from the country. NAB received 40,156 applications for Muzarba and Mukharka scams, arrested 44 persons and recovered Rs 616 million looted amount.

NAB has also recovered 6,000 Kanal Land, 10 houses, 12 precious vehicles besides filing 28 corruption references in accountability courts and returned the recovered money to effectees. NAB Rawalpindi has received 11,000 complaints this year and recovered Rs 1 billion from corrupt elements and deposited into the national exchequer. NAB staff has also been directed to deal the complainants with respect and uphold their self esteem and no laxity in this regard was tolerated.

NAB has established special desks in headquarters and regional bureaus for resolving the issues of business community.  Brushing aside the impression about leaving the plea bargainer scot free after striking a deal, he said an accused can apply for plea bargain as per clause25-B of NAB ordinance.

NAB examines the plea bargain application, includes markup in the looted amount and send it to accountability court for final approval. A culprit requesting plea bargain not only confesses his crime but also agree to return the looted money with markup.

Plea bargain is prevalent in over thirty countries including the United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries of the world. In plea bargain a culprit only escapes jail and all other punishments under the relevant laws apply on the culprit. Plea bargain is a punishment in which a culprit does not go to jail.

A Govt servant is dismissed from service after striking plea bargain deal. He becomes disqualified for Govt service for his remaining life. A politician becomes disqualified for a decade. He could not hold public office or contest elections for ten years. In case of a business plea bargainer, he could not open or maintain a bank account.

The whole amount recovered from a plea bargainer is deposited in national kitty and NAB officers do not receive any share of recovered amount.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019

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