The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is giving no indication that it is interested in recovering corruption money from more than 200 defaulters who have to return billions of rupees dating back to 2006, both in cases of Voluntary Return (VR) and Plea Bargains (PB), NAB documents have revealed.
The NAB has claimed that the reason it does not punish most of the culprits is that it wants to get the looted money back. However, investigation has revealed that besides letting corrupt officials and individuals off the hook in exchange for part of the money, NAB also does not recover most of the money that these corrupt individuals agree to pay.
Former attorney general of Pakistan Justice (r) Malik Abdul Qayyum is among the defaulters of NAB.
Leniency in taking action against the defaulters shows that NAB is committed to providing relief to such defaulters.
The list available with Pakistan Today shows that the NAB has to recover Rs 3.76 billion from 181 defaulters in the voluntary return category while it has to recover Rs 8.35 billion in plea bargain money.
NAB’S SERVICES FOR CRIMINALS:
It should be noted that while in plea bargain cases, the criminals are merely declared ineligible for holding public office or obtaining loans for a period of 10 years, in voluntary return cases, they are allowed to go scot free with punishment handed to them. They are allowed to return to their seats where they can continue with their jobs as if nothing happened.
On top of that, NAB does not even recover the money that these corrupt officials have agreed to pay in return for letting them go free.
Former attorney general of Pakistan Malik Qayyum is a defaulter of Rs 56.8 million since 2012. He agreed to return Rs 98.1 million as voluntary return in Qasr-e-Zauq case but has only returned Rs 41.5 million.
The list of voluntary return defaulters further shows that Abdul Hafeez Sheikh of Rawalpindi ranks on top in terms of money he still owes to the national exchequer. Hafeez is a defaulter of Rs 1.45 billion.
The list further reads that Majid Ali and Arslan of Techno E Power Company are defaulters of Rs 800 million. A patwari Muhammad Asif is a defaulter of Rs 190 million, Ali Asim Malik is a defaulter of Rs 142 million, Shahid Jamal of NES Associates is a defaulter of Rs 74 million, Mufti Ehsanul Haq is a defaulter of Rs 10.5 million while CDA contractor Sardar Muhammad Ashraf is a defaulter of Rs 31.8 million.
The NAB has 33 defaulters in the plea bargain list who owe Rs 8.357 billion to the national exchequer.
Syed Sibt-e-Hasan of Lahore tops the voluntary returns list; he owes Rs 5.17 billion to the national exchequer since 2009 in the famous Double Shah case.
Another accused in Double Shah case Syed Munawar Hussain Gillani is a defaulter of Rs 1.86 billion.
The other defaulters of the Double Shah case Zaheer Abbas Ghumman, Javed Iqbal and Syed Moazzam Hussain Gillani have to return Rs 970 million while Sheikh Shahid Mehmood is a defaulter of Rs 234.5 million.
Pakistan Today made repeated attempts to contact the NAB spokesperson and the director general media for the Bureau’s stance on the issue but both officials remained inaccessible.