NOW that the investigation into the Bank of Punjab scam has been completed and criminals identified, efforts are underway from certain quarters to allow the culprits to go scot-free. According to the inquiry report, its former president Hamesh Khan colluded with a steel company and embezzled millions of rupees by approving fake loans. A number of bogus accounts were opened and a big sum was deposited in them and later quietly withdrawn. Though a few persons involved in the fraud were arrested, it is a pity that Mr Hamesh, the mastermind, still remains at large. He fled the country despite the fact that his name was put on ECL. But a more worrying aspect is to see certain elements from the previous set-up trying to protect the criminals, by referring to the case as an example of political victimisation As inquiry has revealed, it is a financial scam pure and simple, and the criminals ought to be seen like bank robbers. There are also efforts to take the case out of the jurisdiction of the courts in Punjab to some other province. This would only strengthen the scourge of corruption in the country that is plagued by the evil and has been ranked among the most corrupt nations in the world by rating agencies like Transparency International. In this forgery, that is of immense proportions, the law must be allowed to take its course.