Islamabad airport contractor paid Rs560m to Maryam in kickbacks, PM’s aide claims - Pakistan Today

Islamabad airport contractor paid Rs560m to Maryam in kickbacks, PM’s aide claims

–Shahzad Akbar says shell companies were used to secure loans for Chaudhry Sugar Mills

–Technical Associates rejects allegations, says cheque given to Shujaat Azeem was in fact money owed to him

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Barrister Shahzad Akbar on Thursday said that Islamabad International Airport’s contractor Mian Munir had transferred Rs560 million in the accounts of Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM), which are owned by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz.

Addressing a press conference, Akbar said that Technical Associates, one of the three contractors of the new airport, was owned by Mian Munir.

Displaying a cheque from Technical Associates for Rs50m, which he claimed was withdrawn by Shujaat Azeem – special assistant to the prime minister on aviation during Nawaz’s government, Akbar said, “If this is not a kickback then it is a conflict of interest.”

“They made serious changes to the project’s PC-1, serious design changes due to which the Rs33bn project ended up costing close to Rs105bn,” he added.

“Because of this, there were delays which ended up benefiting Technical Associates which then ended up injecting Rs507m into the CSM,” he alleged.

“45 per cent shares of CSM are owned by Maryam Nawaz. Mian Munir is the father-in-law of Maryam’s daughter,” he said.

Akbar said that in May 2017, Technical Associates had transferred Rs310m into the account of CSM via various accounts. Likewise, in December 2017, another Rs250m were transferred into the account of CSM.

He said that CSM was established by PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in 1991 with assets over Rs5.6bn. “Interestingly, Nawaz’s declared assets were only Rs1.3m, which clearly indicates that Nawaz did not have the means to establish a sugar mill,” he added.

“Former finance minister Ishaq Dar established an offshore company, Chadron Jersey Limited, in 1991 in the United Kingdom and France in collaboration with Faisal Investment Bank. The company sought loans of $15m for importing plants and machinery for establishing a sugar mill,” he further said.

Akbar said that the machinery of Ittefaq Foundry was installed after getting a loan of Rs398m from Faisal Investment Bank and its loan was paid back. “However, no machinery or plant was imported from abroad. The Sharifs, after getting special permission from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), transferred $20m into the account of Chadron Jersey Limited. Investigation agencies said that $20 million were transferred to the United Kingdom from 1995 to 1999,” he added.

“Obviously, CSM did not have the resources to pay such huge loans. The amount was stashed abroad. According to the website of the World Bank’s (WB) Star Programme, the real owner of Chadron Jersey Limited was Nawaz Sharif. The nine International offshore companies involved in money laundering had the same address,” he further said.

After sharing details of all the loans allegedly taken for the CSM in the name of various individuals and corporations, he said, “The point of doing these press briefings is to inform the people about how they have been looted. Because the people should also demand an answer from them [the Sharif family].”

COMPANY REJECTS ALLEGATION:

Reacting to the PM’s aide’s presser, the administration of Technical Associates rejected all the allegations levelled against the company.

In a statement, the company said that as far as the matter of Chaudhry Sugar Mills is concerned, it will reply itself. On its part, Technical Associates said the case was in arbitration and it would not comment on it.

Commenting on the charge that Technical Associates gave Shujaat Azeem kickback of Rs50m on June 24, 2015, the company claimed that it had borrowed the money from Azeem on Feb 1, 2011, and returned it on June 24, 2015.

On Shahzad Akbar’s allegation that Technical Associates used its influence to claim the money from Civil Aviation Authority, the company claimed that the amount mentioned by the PM’s special assistant was paid to LTHJV as per the Supreme Court’s decision.



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