ISLAMABAD - National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Senior Executive Vice President Kausar Iqbal Malik obtained a transitory bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after an accountability court in Karachi had issued his non-bailable arrest warrants in the bank’s Bangladesh branch scam involving Rs18 billion.

The Accountability Court Karachi had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Malik, who is also NBP’s HRM Group Chief, directing the NAB to produce the accused before the court on May 4.

Following the court order, an investigation team of the NAB Karachi had arrived in Islamabad last week. The NAB team raided at Malik’s residence but found him missing from his home.

After the NAB’s raid, Malik’s had applied for a protective bail in Islamabad.

According to the IHC order, “through the instant petition, the petitioner seeks protective bail in order to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for seeking remedy under the applicable law.

It further said the counsel for the petitioner submits that his client, being a law abiding citizen, intends to remain under the umbrella of law in order to face proceedings. The petitioner has to approach the court of competent jurisdiction but at the same time apprehends for arrest and therefore the petitioner’s counsel requests for a few days time in this regard.

The IHC order said, “the petitioner is granted protective/ transitory bail till May 5, subject to a deposit of bail bonds in the sum of Rs500,000 with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of Additional Registrar (Judicial) of this Court”. 

“The petitioner is directed to approach the competent jurisdiction within the above said period, as this order shall lapse on May 5,” it added.  

Malik had also served as director general in NAB on deputation during the last government’s tenure and he also has contacts in the NAB. According to the sources, the accused gets information about an impending raid from insiders before the NAB carries out a raid.

In January last, NAB officials told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that the bureau will file a reference in the NBP’s Bangladesh branch scam within one month as it had completed its investigation. But, the NAB has failed so far failed to file the reference in the scam.

The source said that the NAB had completed an investigation against 16 people involved in the NBP’s scam and now the case had been sent to Karachi for minor changes.

The NBP Bangladesh branch gave loans valuing Rs18.5 billion from 2003 to 2013 without securing collaterals while the branch released securities in certain cases without recovering the loans.

The Senate committee had also discussed the case of Rs1.5 billion fraud in Abandoned Properties Organisation, a government body.

The Transparency International had also written to the bank's management that NBP Overseas Management, comprising two most senior officers posted in the US and Bangladesh, have knowingly approved loans in Bangladesh to defaulters of other banks in that country.

The Nation attempted to contact Malik over the phone and through text messages to get his version but he did not respond till the filing this report.