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LAHORE: National Accountab-ility Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice Javed Iqbal (Retd) Monday said that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to bring transparency in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

The chairman disclosed this while presiding over a high-level meeting at the NAB headquarters on Monday to review latest progress on mega corruption cases. The meeting was informed that out of total 179 mega corruption cases, 63 cases have been concluded by various accountability courts whereas 95 mega corruption cases are still under trial in different accountability courts and early hearing pleas are being filed.

Speaking on the occasion, the NAB chairman said the priority of the Bureau is to eradicate the menace of corruption and recover looted money from corrupt elements. He said they have, so far, recovered Rs 714 billion directly and indirectly from corrupt elements and deposited the amount into the national exchequer.

According to Javed, a sum of Rs487 billion have been recovered, directly and indirectly, and deposited in the exchequer which is the proof of “excellent performance” of NAB as comparing to other anti-corruption institutions. He added that some 1,230 corruption references approximately worth around Rs 943 billion are under trial in different accountability courts.

The meeting was further told that 63 mega corruption cases have been concluded and the accountability courts imposed fines of Rs 4.364 billion to accused in 12 corruption cases. Furthermore, the accountability courts have given verdict in favour of accused in 11 mega corruption cases out of total 179 cases. However, the Bureau has filed appeals against the exoneration of the accused which are under trial right now. Furthermore 10, inquiries, 11 investigations are under trial whereas 95 references of mega corruption cases are under trial in different accountability courts.

“NAB has conviction ratio of 68.8 percent,” the chairman said, adding that the bureau has devised a monitoring and evaluation system for prompt disposal of complaints verifications, inquiries and investigations to ensure consensus decision making.

Similarly, the chairman said they have also established a forensic lab in Rawalpindi to provide modern facilities to investigators and prosecutors. Iqbal reiterated during the meeting that NAB has no affiliation with any political party, group or individual but with the state of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021