ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) recovered Rs150 billion from corrupt elements last year by filing 206 references in different accountability courts.
Presiding over a meeting on Wednesday to review the anti-graft watchdog’s performance in 2019, NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal said that due to investigations conducted on scientific lines, the conviction rate in corruption cases was 70 per cent.
“This performance will be improved by assessing complaints and conducting inquiries and investigations under the command and investigation system,” he added.
He said corruption worth over Rs943bn had been committed in 1,262 references filed last year.
Justice Iqbal said NAB’s first priority was to bring mega corruption cases to a logical conclusion and recover the looted wealth.
Investigators, prosecutors told to probe white-collar crime cases on scientific basis
He appreciated NAB’s overall performance in 2019 and asked all directors general to verify all complaints and conduct inquiries and investigations in accordance with the law within the stipulated time of 10 months.
He said NAB’s performance was lauded by credible national and international organisations.
Justice Iqbal directed all NAB investigation officers and prosecutors to investigate white-collar crime cases on a scientific basis. “These cases should be pursued vigorously in courts so that corrupt elements could be punished according to the law.”
He said NAB had recruited officers on merit to expand the organisation’s existing workforce and enhance its capacity.
“NAB has developed an effective monitoring and evaluation system under which all complaints are entertained,” the chairman said.
According to NAB director general (operations) Zahir Shah, the bureau received 51,591 complaints in 2019 and disposed of 46,123 of them according to the law, while 13,299 complaints are currently being processed.
NAB approved verification of 1,464 complaints in 2019, out of which 1,362 were examined according to the law and investigation into 770 complaints is under way.
The anti-graft watchdog approved 574 inquiries last year, while probe into 658 complaints has been completed and 859 inquiries are in progress.
Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2020