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NAB team raids NICVD over financial, admin irregularities

KARACHI: A team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) conducted an hours long ‘raid’ at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on the charges of financial and administrative irregularities, misappropriation of funds and questioned the administrative staff.

According to details, under the supervision of Deputy Director Qamar Abbasi, a five-member team of NAB raided the NICVD on Thursday and investigated the relevant administrative staff. No official word was available about the raid by NAB officials, but a NAB source said their team “visited the health facility” after some of the documents it required against officials of NICVD were not provided to the agency within due date.

The NAB had initiated an inquiry against the NICVD over corruption charges more than two years ago. During the inquiry, the NAB found that the executive director of NICVD was in possession of evidence related to the alleged commission of offence(s) during the last 10 years.

Azra Maqsood, Chief Operating Officer of the NICVD, said the NAB investigators remained at NICVD for over six hours and due to uncertainty, medical services, except emergency, remained suspended for several hours, causing suffering to hundreds of patients.

The NICVD officials said the NAB team comprising five officials entered the hospital at around 2:00pm and remained there for six hours, questioned staff and officials from different departments and inquired about financial affairs and transactions, number of employees and their nature of jobs, recruitment policies, purchase of medicines, equipment and machinery as well as other items required to run the health facility.

NAB more than two years ago initiated an inquiry against the NICVD over corruption charges. It had transpired during the inquiry that the executive director of NICVD was in “possession of information/evidence whatsoever, which relates to the commission of the offence(s)”, the NAB letter reads. While initiating the inquiry in September 2018, it had sought complete record in original and certified copies of structural formation of NICVD, year-wise sanctioned strength and appointments made in different cadres including regular, contractual, contingency and daily wages based posts during the last 10 years.

“The NAB had also sought details of appointments in different cadres during the last 10 years, pay structure of different grades, annual budget details and expenditure during the last 10 years, details of procurement including drugs, machinery, etc, internal, external and third-party audit reports of last 10 years,” said the source giving details of the letter sent by NAB to the executive director of NICVD.

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