Corruption

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Promises from PTI Manifesto and Imran Khan’s first address to the nation.

1.We will pursue all major corruption scandals regardless of political affiliation.

2.We will build a Special Task Force to launch a drive to recover looted national wealth.

3.Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will be facilitated in tackling corruption.

Progress with respect to different promises.

We will build a Special Task Force to launch a drive to recover looted national wealth.

5 September 2018

The government formed a ‘high-powered task’ force comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and intelligence agencies on 5 September 2018. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that initially, 100 major cases will be targeted to set a precedent. PM Imran Khan directed the foreign ministry to send a high-powered delegation to Switzerland get information regarding transfer of corruption money into Swiss banks by the Swiss authorities.

This task force will submit a report to the Prime Minister and Supreme Court every two weeks.

Tahir Dhindsa, Senior Analyst and Journalist, talks about the formation of task force o recover looted money.

13 September 2018

A special ‘Recovery Unit’ was established to suggest legal means to bring back the looted money back on 13 September. The formation of the recovery unit was proposed by the PM high power task force.  It comprises of representatives from NAB, FIA, State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure coordination between different agencies. This unit also includes forensic experts and international law experts.

17 September 2018

The governments of Pakistan and the United Kingdom jointly launched a partnership, ‘UK-Pakistan Justice and Accountability Partnership’ on the recovery of stolen assets and putting a check on money laundering. The decision was taken in a joint press conference in PM house on 17 September.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) of Britain arrested a Pakistani couple over alleged money laundering. The couple was detained for not showing legitimate source of income of £8 million assets. Pakistani’s NAB and FIA helped NCA in the investigation. The arrested person, Farhan Junejo was former private secretary of late Makhdoom Amin Faheem, former federal minister for commerce. He was also wanted by the FIA in many cases of money laundering, including a case of corruption in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) (The News, 18 September 2018).

27 October 2018

The United Kingdom Central Authority (UKCA) has asked Pakistan to provide more information in response to Pakistani government’s request to the UK to seize Avenfield apartments belonging to the Sharif family. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability (SAPM) Shahzad Akbar said the Pakistan is working to provide that information.

9 November 2018

Minister of State for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar informed that FBR has collected data on Pakistanis having bank accounts abroad in National Assembly on 9 November. The data of 96,000 account holders has been collected.  The minister informed that so far 294 individuals had been issued notices under “relevant section” of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.  Out of 294 cases, audit proceedings had been finalized in 15 cases, 36 are being heard 242 are being pursued to initiate proceedings. He also said that government is taking measures to enhance the capacity of FBR to collect revenue and make it an agency which provides fair and justice treatment to the taxpayers.

11 November 2018

The government has identified more than 5,000 fake accounts which were allegedly used for money laundering. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that the recovery unit has found that assets worth $5.3 billion were accumulated abroad through alleged money laundering and this amount translates into Rs700 billion.

24 November 2018

The matters related to recovery of looted wealth was discussed when Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar met with United Arab Emirates Minister of Justice on 24 November. In the last ten years, Pakistanis have bought properties in Dubai worth $15 billion.

30 November 2018

The federal government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swiss authorities to obtain information about assets and bank accounts owned by Pakistanis in Switzerland.

12 December 2018

The legal modalities of assets recovery were discussed in a meeting between UK delegation of National Crime Agency (NCA) headed by Mr. Donald Toon, the UK Home Secretary’s Envoy to Pakistan on Accountability and Assets Recovery and the members of Assets Recovery Unit (ARU). The cases of wealth recovery that are being pursued in UK were also discussed. 

26 January 2019

The FBR has obtained details of bank accounts owned by Pakistani nationals in 26 countries and will be going after them for tax evasion. The 50,000 foreign bank accounts have been traced that are being held by Pakistanis in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and other countries.

2 February 2019

FBR has acquired detail of 160,000 undisclosed overseas bank accounts being held by Pakistani nationals. 4,800 accounts contain over $100,000 while several accounts contain even more than $1 million will send notices to the account holders to submit an appropriate reply, and legal action will be taken against those who fail to respond.

6 February 2019

The PTI government has decided to contact the tax authorities of Turkey and Russia to get information about assets that Pakistanis have hidden in offshore companies. The government claimed that it has already written to Republic of Panama to get asset information.

Fakhar ur Rehman, Senior Correspondent, CNN Turkish, explains the progress, challenges and limitations of the government to recover looted money of the country.

We will pursue all major corruption scandals regardless of political affiliation.

5 October 2018

Former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif arrested was by the NAB in connection with the Rs14 billion Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case 5 October.

9 November 2018

The NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has arrested CEO Ms Ideal Hydrotech Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh and a private bank employee Asghar Khan involved in alleged embezzlement of funds in ‘Clean Drinking Water for All’ project. This project was started in 2006. The violations of regulations have been committed in the award of contracts to various contractors rendering the project into a huge scam. Muhammad Ramzan in connivance with other co-accused allegedly gave fake bank guarantees.

13 November 2019

The KP NAB arrested another Chief Executive Officer of M/S Ideal Hydrotech System, Abdul Moid Faruki for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of funds in “Clean Drinking Water for All” Project. The contract of the project was awarded to accused Abdul in November 2007 for installation of 1,159water filtration plants. The accused with the officials of Local Government Department KP provided fake bank guarantee worth Rs 594 million.

30 November 2018

The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the FBR to submit tax details of Aleema Khanum, sister of PM Imran Khan during the hearing of a suo motu case regarding the foreign property abroad on 30th November. FBR revealed in October that Ms. Khanum owns benami properties in Dubai.

5 December 2018

The government claims to have dig up another corrupt act of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif regarding his foreign visits abroad at the government’s expense.  Minister’s adviser on accountability, Shahzad Akbar said that Nawaz Sharif made 25 private foreign trips during his rule from 2013 to 2018 on taxpayers’ money of Rs250 million. The Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) had completed its investigation into the private foreign visits of the Mr. Sharif and referred it to NAB.

13 December 2018

Supreme Court ordered Aleema Khanum, sister of PM Imran Khan to pay tax liabilities worth Rs29.4 million which was determined by FBR. The case was uncovered under the initiative of retrieval of unlawful assets of the Pakistanis from abroad.

29 January 2019

The FBR submitted details of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s foreign assets to NAB on 29 January. He owns four flats in London which were bought between 2005 and 2007. 80 per cent of the payment for the three London flats was made through bank loans and mortgage payments while the remaining 20 per cent amount was paid in cash. He is currently under the custody of the anti-corruption watchdog which has been investigating him in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scam and other corruption cases.

6 February 2019.

Senior Provincial Minister of Punjab, Aleem Khan, was taken into custody by NAB for having assets beyond known sources of income on 6 February. NAB had previously opened a probe against Khan in Hexam Investment Overseas Limited, an off-shore company after revelation in Panama leaks.  He was also facing investigations into the Park View Housing Society. He was the secretary of the “Parkview Cooperative Housing Society”, a member of the Punjab Assembly and Minister for Information Technology, and during that period, he was allegedly involved in corruption.

8 February 2019

The NAB Karachi arrested former ports and shipping minister Kamran Michael in a corruption case on 8 February. The PML-N leader has been charged with illegal acquisition of three commercial and residential plots at prime locations of KPT Cooperative Housing Society, Karachi worth Rs. 1.05 billion.

12 February 2019

The KP accountability court re indicted former federal minister Dr Arbab Alamgir and his wife and former MNA, Asma Alamgir about their alleged foreign properties which is Rs 332 million according to KP NAB. Ms. Asma was advisor to the then PM Yousaf Raza Gilani.

13 February 2019

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Balochistan Public Health and Engineering Department Executive Engineer Ghulam Sarwar Bugti for alleged involvement in embezzlement worth Rs44.6 million.

20 February 2019

The Sindh Assembely Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was arrested by NAB Karachi from a hotel in Islamabad. Mr. Durrani faces an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as allegations that he had embezzled public funds.

11 March 2019

The Prime Minister’s Task Force on Austerity and Restructuring Government has started considering introduction of the Corruption Sniffing Bots (a computer programme) for government functionaries to prevent any chance of their living beyond their known sources of income. The bots will sniff the anomalies in encrypted data of employees. The programme would first notify the employee of any inconsistency, allowing him/her to take a corrective action before any punitive action. The government could also consider creating a central repository of individual financial profiles for all the government officers and their dependents. Other programs could include maintaining a full-service history of all the officials. This includes data on take-home salary and posting and transfer orders, mandatory filing of income tax returns for all government employees and automatic annual comparing of assets and wealth statement from FBR.

23 March 2019

The NAB has decided to file a corruption reference against former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in the Pink Residency case. The reference will follow the ongoing investigation against Aftab Ahmed Memon – secretary of the Land Utilisation Department of Sindh Board of Revenue and a close aide to Zardari – who is under the custody of the NAB in a case pertaining to illegal allotment of 17 acres of land in the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) Scheme in favor of M/S Pink Residency and others. The illegal regularisation cost the national treasury a loss of more than Rs800 million in terms of land value.

29 March 2019

NAB has started an inquiry against the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar for his alleged involvement in corruption worth millions. He has been alleged for billions of rupees corruption in Earthquake affectiees funds. The minister allegedly has purchased hundreds of canals land and established a sugar mill from corrupt money. The annual income of his entire family was around Rs60 million when he entered the politics and now he has assets worth Rs100 billion.