ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Thursday, said that it was conducting inquiry into cases of money laundering, LED project, OGRA, RPPs, Pakistan Railways, NRO, NLC, OGDCL and others.
Speaking at a news briefing here at NAB, spokesperson Zafar Iqbal Khan turned down reports published in different segments of media based on CDA’s claim that NAB had accorded approval in LED project. He maintained that the Bureau had at no time given any approval whatsoever to the said project. So, the report was not factual and didn’t present correct perspective.
“The fact of the matter is that NAB had asked CDA for a presentation few months ago, when media highlighted the issue, on the said project from the perspective of the preventive regime but it never gave any sort of clearance. NAB has issued a letter to CDA after presentation highlighting the areas where the agency needs to work more before taking any further step” he added..
Moreover, he said that NAB had started inquiry against OGRA’s chief in November 2011 under the direction of Supreme Court where a private person files the case leveling 17 allegations. SC directed NAB to conduct an inquiry against Tauqeer Sadiq based on his appointment and other actions taken by him during his period in office.
“After completing inquiry, NAB has submitted a detailed report to the hon’ble court in January 2012 covering various allegations leveled against the accused including misuse of authority for appointing his favourites on lucrative posts with higher salary packages, relocating CNG stations even out of province etc” he maintained.
He said that the accused made dysfunctional two of the OGRA members and even didn’t pay attention to government instructions. Meanwhile NAB has converted his inquiry into investigation which is under process.
The spokesperson clarified that as reported in media, NAB’s PGA is not working for or against the interest of any person in his personal capacity but to work under the provisions of NAO 1999.
“Whatever legal opinion is framed in NAB’s Prosecution Division is in black and white. Billions of rupees are involved in the case. One of accused in OGRA case (Mansoor Muzaffar, Member gas) is in NAB custody since May 16, 2012 morning and an Accountability Court of Rawalpindi has granted 10 days remand of Mansoor Muzaffar in the said case. Arrest warrants of other officials in the case have been issued and they would be arrested shortly” he said.
He said that in RPPs case SC took an human rights case filed by Faisal Saleh Hayat / Khawaja Asif on 26 September 2009. NAB took cognizance against RPPs under the direction of SC on 30 March 2012 and is in the process of conducting inquiry for recovery of looted money.
“In the beginning, NAB has sent names of all the accused persons involved in the RPPs case to the Interior Ministry to place them on ECL, marked the caution on their bank accounts and other assets including the equipment installed for generating power” he observed.
He said that NAB also directed CAA for not allowing a plane belonging to one of the RPPs to fly out of country. So far, NAB has recovered Rs 2.012 billion from RPPs and still in the process of reconciliation so that the remaining amount could be deposited to the government exchequer.
Moreover, he said that NAB also sent its teams to inspect the sites of RPPs and teams are busy to finalize their reports. Types of embezzlement committed by the RPPs include illegal advance money payment, different rates for different companies, gas projects were signed where Pakistan is already facing shortage in gas, no tax was levied on import of equipment from these companies, no company has ever produced electricity in full capacity as per agreement except M/s Gulf. NAB is proceeding against 9 companies and so far recovered more than 2 billion rupees. NAB recovered Rs 1091 million from Pakistan Power Resource / Walters International, Rs 546 million from Techno Energy, Rs 50 million from Young Generation, Rs 225 million from Gulf and Rs 100 million from Rishman. Total amount involved in the case is around $ 223.58 million.
The Spokesman said that the case against railways was referred by SC where NAB conducted inquiries started from scrap sale, various purchases, sale of railway track, purchase of spares for 69 Chinese locomotives till the lease agreement of Royal Plam City Golf Club Lahore. NAB has recovered 80 million rupees in scrap case.
“Now the scrap is under the control of railway authorities who are in the process of its sale under the supervision of NAB and would earn around 450 million rupees in addition to what they might get in previous deal” he added saying that under NAB supervision, the parties are at final stage to revisit the lease agreement under which railways would have an additional amount of more than 15 billion rupees during the remaining lease period.
“As far as purchase of spares is concerned, NAB has completed its inquiry and converted the same into investigation which is under process. NAB also arrested a senior official of railways (ex-GM Saeed Akhtar)” he highlighted saying that the gravity of issue could be gauged from the statement of another GM railways Mr Ashfaq Khattak, that purchase of spares for 69 Chinese locomotives damaged Pakistan railways badly as most of the budget was allocated for such purchases bypassing the necessary purchases to streamline the organization.
In NRO case, he said that under the reconciliation agreement between various parties, an ordinance was promulgated by the then President in October 2007 where many people got benefited including the persons involved in 155 corruption cases. One of the provisions that entered in NAO after the promulgation of NRO was that all cases stand terminated which were filed before 12 October 1999.
After the impugned judgment by the Supreme Court on 16 December 2009 where the court declared NRO void ab-initio, Spokesman said that NAB had opened all the cases closed under this ordinance. At present, SC is monitoring the implementation process of its judgment and NAB is regularly submitting its report in the court.
It is pertinent to mention here that NAB had written a letter to the Swiss authorities under the directions of SC which was routed to the concerned quarters through diplomatic channels and the same was presented in the Honorable SC which directed the federal government to write such letter under the approval of PM.
PAC referred the NLC case to M/o Defence to look into the affairs where it was alleged that the authorities in NLC has made huge investments in stocks even after getting loans from banks over the period of time. GHQ is investigating against 3 army generals while NAB is conducting inquiry against NLC’s member finance which is at initial stage. NAB’s investigation team is in liaison with the team in GHQ and recently NAB team met JAG (Judge Advocate General) branch team.
He said that this impression that GHQ has refused to share any information with NAB is incorrect. In another development in this case NAB chief Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari in a meeting with COAS Gen Kayani agreed to formulate a mechanism to jointly investigate the NLC case where JAG Branch of GHQ and PGA, NAB will devise a strategy to conduct joint inquiry in the case. Responding a question about the action against the Army personnel, Spokesperson said that NAO doesn’t allow NAB to take action against any army official except those who are or has been performing their during in civil departments.
He added that in a fresh reference against Sharif brothers the Bureau would take cognizance under the laws of the land and will solve the case on merit. As far as their old cases are concerned, they remained pending as the Sharifs were out of Pakistan. At present Lahore High court has directed not to open those cases against them as they took the plea that based on these cases they can be politically victimized. In case of Hudabia paper mills, the court has ordered to defreeze those assets which they have got back.
Moreover, he said that NAB had started inquiry against Adnan Khawaja in OGDCL case and submitted its findings in the SC. It was interesting to note that there is no provision available in OGDCL law citing the qualification of MD. The fact was that MD was a convicted person and was NRO beneficiary and this fact was concealed from the competent authority for which then Secretary Establishment is responsible.
Responding to another question regarding recovery of looted money in year 2011 the spokesperson said that during year 2011 the bureau received 6583 complaints, completed 155 inquires, filed 71 references in the courts and recovered an amount of Rs 902 million through Voluntary return and Plea Bargain.