By: Fazal Sher
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have the capacity to investigate white-collar crimes involving financial matters but would be unwilling to proceed against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family due to the job risk involved.
An official source maintained that FIA and NAB have the capacity of forensic financial audit, necessary to detect money trail as well as to trace embezzlement and fraud, essentially white-collar crimes.
“There is no doubt that the FIA has the capacity to investigate allegations against PM’s family in the leaked Panama Papers, as it has staff trained by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on forensic financial audit and detection of money trails,” the official said. But, he added, nobody in the agency will take the risk to investigate the case properly as it involves the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sarif.
FIA and NAB have shown little backbone when investigating high profile cases, he added, and if one takes its past performance or lack of performance in this regard then one should not have high expectations from an investigation into matters relating to the Prime Minister’s family members.
The official further pointed out that mega corruption scams are pending with FIA involving former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, former minister Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, ex-religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi and former defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.
Additionally, NAB in July last year submitted details of 150 mega corruption cases before the Supreme Court that included cases against high profile figures, such as incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, former premiers, ministers and top bureaucrats.
The official said that NAB has recently set up Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) for forensic investigations. The Bureau also can hire the services of financial experts and chartered accountants for investigation of financial matters. The FSL has the ability to conduct digital, fingerprints and questioned documents forensics, he added.
He said that digital forensics deals with the analyses and examination of computers, cell phones, digital storage devices while documents section is responsible for examining any document about which a question has been raised concerning its authenticity in a court of law.
The official further said that fingerprint analyses offer a powerful means of personal identification and still remain the most commonly used forensic evidence as two individuals can never have the same fingerprints.
He said the officers posted at the NAB lab attended multiple training courses by UNODC, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) Lahore, Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ICT) Police and experts of FIA.
Ministry of Interior has notified NAB Forensic Science Lab (NAB FSL) as the officially designated laboratory for the purpose of adducing evidence in courts.
Source: Business Recorder