LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed 74 references in the accountability court during 2018.

Issuing its annual report, the bureau’s Lahore spokesperson, Muhammad Zeeshan Anwar, said the references included Avenfield properties case against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family members, income beyond means against former finance minister Ishaq Dar, Ashiana housing case against PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and others as well as irregularities in the Saaf Pani Company, Lahore Parking Company, Punjab Power Development Company and against former Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Asif Hashmi.

He said the NAB Lahore disposed of 9,200 complaints during the year and compensated over 3,000 affectees of various scams.

“The NAB Lahore recovered Rs4 billion from fraud elements. A sum of Rs1.2bn has been either submitted to the national kitty or distributed among affectees of different scams. It also recovered Rs2.2bn from the Ferozepur Housing Society. A sum of Rs620 million has been distributed among 696 affectees of Model Housing Enclave and Rs360m among 450 affectees of Elite Town. The recovery of millions of rupees in 56 companies is under way,” he said, adding that the bureau handed over possession letters worth Rs4.5bn among affectees of Khayaban-i-Ameen Housing Society and also made indirect recovery of Rs830.8m in the National Bank of Pakistan, Lahore.

During 2018, the NAB Lahore arrested 215 suspects in various corruption cases, including former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, MNA Khwaja Saad Rafique and MPA Khwaja Salman Rafique.

Mr Anwar further said inquiries against Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvaiz Elahi, Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan, Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and MNA Rana Sanaullah were under way in various cases and would be concluded soon.

NAB Lahore Director General Saleem Shahzad said that the bureau was observing zero tolerance against corruption. “All mega corruption cases are dealt with on merit as all suspects are equal for the NAB,” he claimed.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019