ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal said on Sunday that corrupt elements, proclaimed offenders and absconders would be dealt with an iron hand.

In a statement, he said that NAB’s top most priority was to take mega corruption cases such as cases of cheating people, frauds in housing societies/cooperative societies, fraudulent financial companies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, instances of misuse of authority, money laundering and embezzlement of state funds etc to their logical conclusion by using modern techniques.

He said one of NAB’s major achievements was the recovery of Rs342 billion from the looters, which, he added, had been deposited in the national exchequer, and not a single penny landed in NAB officers’ pockets.

He said NAB had rationalized its workload and timelines had been prescribed for an efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases by introducing a maximum limit of 10 months-from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation and finally to a reference in the Accountability Court.

Recovery of Rs342b Bureau’s major achievement

He said NAB had also introduced Combined Investigation Team (CIT) system in order to benefit from the experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers. “This not only lends quality to the work, but also ensures that no single individual can influence the official proceedings of NAB,” he added.

The NAB chairman said the Bureau had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to streamline investigation in anti-corruption cases.

Justice (r) Javed said an effective accountability mechanism was must for economic growth, investment and stability of the social order. “The intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a prerequisite for promoting investment and economic growth,” he observed.

Since its inception, the NAB chairman said, the Bureau had adopted the enforcement-based approach in its fight against corruption. “Therefore, special focus is on making people aware about the ill-effects of corruption,” he added.

He said NAB’s motto was, “Accountability for All.”

Justice (r) Javed said indiscriminate action against the dirty fish regardless of their status in the society had increased NAB’s prestige in the eyes of public manifolds. “NAB has filed 600 corruption references in the accountability courts in the last 23 months, which is a record as investigation into mega white collar crimes is a very challenging task since it takes years,” he disclosed.

The NAB chairman said the Bureau reviewed performance of its staff regularly and also kept an eye on the progress made on ongoing inquiries and references. “Due to this reason, the number of complaints has doubled as compared to the same period of the last year: from Nov 2018 to Nov 2019,” he explained.

He claimed that comparative figures were indicative of the hard work being done by all and sundry in the NAB in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption was taken as a national duty.

He further informed that the Bureau had formed more than 50,000 Character Building Societies (CBSs) at universities/colleges during the last 23 months to make students aware about the ill-effects of corruption. 

Justice (r) Javed said NAB had devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System to review and further improve the performance of its officers. “Under this system, the performance of NAB’s officers is evaluated according to a given criteria on annual basis,” he added.

He said NAB had 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 NAB had 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.