The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday denied that a series of audio clips aired by a private TV channel have anything to do with its chairman Javed Iqbal, branding them "baseless, fake and based on lies".
The bureau was referring to some footage and a few audio clips — first aired by News One — in which a male can be heard talking to a woman, and making inappropriate remarks at various points.
While the TV channel linked the male voice with the NAB chairman, the corruption watchdog has vehemently denied the allegation, labelling it "the propaganda of a blackmailers' group".
The bureau, in its press release, said that the purpose of the audio clips was to "damage the goodwill of NAB and its chairman".
The anti-graft body said that "the news channel [too] has not only already admitted that the news was fake and contrary to the facts but also apologised to the NAB chairman for causing him distress."
NAB said that it has "not only already arrested two members of the blackmailing group but also approved the filing of references against them".
It further said that the suspected group is nominated in 42 FIRs (first information reports) across the country on allegations of blackmailing, kidnapping for ransom and mass robberies — the evidence of which "NAB already has".
NAB identified an individual named Farooq as the group's ringleader, saying that he is "currently incarcerated in Kot Lakhpat Jail".