(Pakistan Point News - APP - 22nd Dec, 2016) The NAB official said an investigation against Lango, ex-adviser to the Balochistan Chief Minister, was in final stages and his case would be referred to a court soon. He said the NAB had emerged victorious in 76 % of court cases, which was the highest conviction rate in the world in term of white collar crimes. From 2012 to 2016, he said, the NAB had recovered Rs 6 billion through PB and Rs 13 billion through Voluntary Return (VR).
The total amount recovered during the period was Rs 45.37 billion, which also included recovery in bank loan cases. He said since its inception, the Bureau had recovered Rs 284 billion while 917 cases were settled under plea bargain deals and around 2900 cases under VR. Zahir Shah under the plea bargain the accused had to face all legal charges except imprisonment. Replying to a query, the DG Operations said NAB had already recovered Rs 385 million from the owners of pharmaceutical companies under a plea bargain deal in a drug pricing scandal while the total recovery in the particular case would be Rs 1.
11 billion. Some accused, who were still in jail, had also requested for PB. The government officials involved in the scam were also in jail as their case was under trial, he added. He said the recovery of Rs 1.11 billion was said to be a record which was made possible after hectic efforts. Giving details of the scam, he said the officials of Ministry of National Regulations and Health Services and the owners of some pharmaceutical firms made an illegal increase in drug prices and even in some cases around 200 per cent, causing loss to the general public.
As per the investigation held under the supervision of DG NAB Rawalpindi, the accused were involved in an illegal increase of prices of drugs through misuse of meetings of Drugs Pricing Committee (DPC) meetings and its sub-committee. During the investigation, it was revealed that the pharmaceutical companies had been given undue financial favour by DPC members by allowing an exorbitant increase in drugs prices. He said the request of the accused persons for a plea bargain was considered by the competent authority after taking into consideration facts/circumstances of the case and keeping in view the total liability.
Replying to a question, he said the Bureau did not keep any penny from the recovered amount, however, it was provided around 8 to 10 per cent budgetary support as a specialized organization. Budgetary support was also audited every year, he added. Zahir Shah said credit should be given to the NAB Chairman and his team, which had ensured recovery of around Rs 4.5 billion through PB in the two corruption cases, ultimately giving benefit to the national kitty.