Will recover looted money in three weeks if given authority: NAB chief
LAHORE (92 News) – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (rtd) Javed Iqbal has said on Thursday that he will recover the looted wealth of national exchequer within three week if he is being given him authority.
While addressing the traders’ community in Lahore, the NAB chairman said that the institute was working diligently to rid the country from the menace of corruption. He also said that the anti-graft watchdog body has reserve right to weed out corruption.
Big difference in money laundering, tax evasion
The NAB chairman clarified that there was a big difference between money laundering and tax evasion. “If they solely concerned tax evasion, they would not come to us from various courts,” he said as he explained why NAB was pursuing some businesses.
Javed Iqbal assured the traders that the next time they invited him, there would be no tax evasion cases with the bureau, adding that all such cases would be referred to the FBR instead.
NAB has never liked to overstep its jurisdiction
Javed Iqbal said NAB has never liked to overstep its jurisdiction and that the reason for it being ‘over active’ was because the authority had received a lot of money laundering cases from the Supreme Court.
He assured traders and manufacturers in Lahore that the corruption watchdog body is acting on their complaints and will not be a cause for disruption in their businesses.
Hand over all tax-related cases to FBR
Javed Iqbal announced to hand over all tax-related cases to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Additionally, he said that NAB had never interfered with bank default cases unless a bank had referred them to the authority, which he said happens when their settlement negotiations with parties in a case are unsuccessful.
No nexus between govt, NAB
“If anyone of you thinks that NAB is affiliated with the incumbent government, this is 100 per cent an incorrect impression,” Iqbal mentioned. He refuted speculations on certain section of the media that there was any nexus between the government and the accountability watchdog in the filings and proceedings of the corruption cases.
With regards to Panama Papers cases, the NAB chairman said they remain active. However, in the instance of certain cases, information and records from foreign countries had been received more quickly than others, therefore, they had been expedited.
Plea bargain and approvers
Discussing plea bargains, the NAB chairman said: “Till I don’t approve it, there can be no plea bargain.” Additionally, the NAB chief said that he decides when an individual is allowed to turn into an approver. He said that either the approvers come to Islamabad or he goes to them.
“They are first asked if there was any force or illegal incentive for them to be made an approver, after which they check if they were in their senses when they made the statement, which is then is read out to them,” he added.
Recovered looted money of Rs 71 billion
The NAB chairman said corruption was the root cause of all evils as it hindered the development of the country.
The chairman said NAB had directly or indirectly recovered the looted money of Rs 71 billion and deposited it in the national exchequer during the last 22 months, adding that NAB was mandated to probe the accused about looted state money and it would continue to perform its responsibilities.