KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested 70 people and recovered a sum of Rs1.432 billion from them in 2014.

These figures were shared with NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, who visited the NAB Karachi Bureau on Friday to review its performance. NAB Karachi Director-General Lt Col (retd) Sirajul Naeem and his team briefed the chairman about the current status of corruption cases related to Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), ISAF containers and National Bank.

Last year, the Karachi office disposed of 3,589 complaints, 327 complaint verifications, completed 71 inquiries and finished 33 investigations while arresting 70 people and recovering from them Rs 1.432 billion. The office is currently investigating 311 cases of which 231 are at the inquiry stage and 80 are in the initial stage.

In the first quarter of 2015, 25 suspects have been arrested with Rs299.3 million and 71.38 acres of land valued at Rs360 million recovered from them through voluntary return.

DG Naeem said that 10 cases of Pakistan Steel Mills had been transferred from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to NAB while eight supplementary references were filed. The inquiry of another five cases has been transferred from FIA to NAB while four more cases have been converted into investigations. One such case was closed.

He added that 25 complaints regarding 28,802 commercial containers and one complaint for 3,542 non-commercial containers were filed with NAB by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). NAB has also moved references involving 221 clearing agents, 110 border agents, five Customs officers and 7,918 ISAF containers in accountability courts. The trial in ISAF cases is at an advanced stage.

Naeem said the inquiry of recruitment of senior executive vice presidents in National Bank without completion of formalities and misusing authority was in progress.

NAB Chairman Chaudhry appreciated the performance of the Karachi office and called for the arrest of all proclaimed offenders and absconders by using all resources. He directed that all complaint verifications, inquiries and investigations should be completed on merit.

He added that NAB had zero tolerance for corruption and ordered all officers in Karachi to work vigilantly and honestly to curb corruption from the country. He also appreciated the performance of all wings of NAB Karachi under the supervision of its director-general and wished for better results in the future.

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