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NAB reports progress in fake accounts case investigation to SC

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday submitted to the Supreme Court its first progress report on the ongoing investigation in the fake accounts case.

The Supreme Court last month tasked NAB with probing the case after a joint investigation team report revealed that at least 29 bank accounts identified as fake had been used for money laundering to the tune of Rs42 billion. The report implicated former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, eminent banker Hussain Lawai, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and other prominent bankers and businessmen.

The top court had given two months to NAB to conclude its investigation. It had also ordered the body to submit a progress report every 15 days.

According to the report prepared by NAB Rawalpindi Director General Irfan Mangi, the anti-corruption watchdog has asked relevant departments for their records and is collecting additional evidence in order to determine whether a reference should be filed.

Last month, NAB Chairman Justice retired Javed Iqbal had formed a combined investigation team (CIT) in a high-level meeting to probe the case. It was decided that investigations into fake bank accounts and money laundering would be taken to their logical conclusion in the light of the judgement of the apex court and on the basis of solid evidence.

Normally when a complaint is filed with NAB, the bureau initiates an inquiry. In case credible evidence is found, the inquiry is turned into an investigation, after which it is decided whether or not a reference should be filed in an accountability court.

In this specific case, the prime minister’s Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar had said that NAB will not go for an inquiry but will initiate investigation on the basis of the inquiry conducted by the JIT formed by the SC.

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