FBR, NAB Crackdown on Benami Properties, White Collar Crimes

“59% of Pakistanis show confidence in NAB, according to Gillani Research Foundation and Gallup Surveys”

DESPARDES NEWS MONITOR — While the FBR has upped the ante against Benami properties, the country’s anti-graft watchdog NAB announced it has recovered A) Rs71 billion in 22 months, B) signed MoU with China and C) established 50,000 character-building societies in varsities.

The State has also made the Benami Transaction Act 2017 completely operational.

FBR officials will now be able to detect, freeze and seize Benami properties, luxury cars, bank accounts, offshore companies and shares.

Three adjudicating benches have been established –in Islamabad (for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad Capital Territory and Punjab’s Rawalpindi division), Lahore (for entire Punjab) and Karachi (for Sindh and Balochistan). These benches will dispose off related reference cases.

A Directorate for such properties has also become functional. It will trace Benami bank accounts, luxury cars, offshore investment, stocks and shares and take action, including preparing references against such assets and individuals –for submission to adjudicating benches for resolution if warranted.

Crackdown against such properties (considered a white collar crime) comes as the country’s anti-graft watchdog the ‘National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’ NAB reported it has recovered Rs71bn in 22 months under its ongoing 10-month process established to resolve mega corruption cases.

NAB reportedly has also filed 600 corruption cases in respective accountability courts over the last 22 months, which were under trial.

“Reputed national and international organizations such as Transparency International, World Economic Forum, Pildat and Mishal Pakistan have appreciated NAB’s efforts to eradicate corruption from society, according to NAB spokesperson reports Dawn. Gillani Research Foundation and Gallup Surveys indicate majority (59 per cent) of Pakistanis show confidence in NAB,” added the spokesperson.

NAB Chairman Justice Javed Iqbal said that the bureau had signed an MoU with China to oversee China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects being executed in the country.

He said that NAB had signed an MoU with Higher Education Commission to make the youth aware of ill-effects of corruption at an early age.

“More than 50,000 character-building societies have been established in colleges and universities of the country,” he added.

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