Rs7bn reference filed against Shehbaz, family: Akbar | Pakistan Today

Rs7bn reference filed against Shehbaz, family: Akbar

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar has said that a Rs7 billion reference has been filed at an accountability court in Lahore against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his family over allegations of money laundering.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, he said that opposition parties want a Truth Commission but they should answer to allegations of corruption and money laundering.

He said that the Financial Monitoring Unit had found 177 suspicious transactions of the family and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) started an investigation in this regard. He also said that the reference comprises 55 volumes and 25,000 pages of documentary evidence including company records, bank statements and foreign remittances.

The record was compiled after a detailed investigation by NAB teams which nominated 16 accused in the reference against six family members and 10 employees. Four of the accused had turned approvers and they disclosed their role in money laundering by the Sharif family, Akbar said.

“Money laundering worth billions of rupees was done through employees of the companies of Shehbaz and his children,” he alleged. He accused Shehbaz and his son Hamza Shehbaz of taking kickbacks and commissions in return for giving party tickets and projects to favourites.

“There are three benaami front companies — Good Nature [Trading] Company, Unitas Steel, Nisar Trading Concern — in this reference,” he added.

According to the reference, the Sharif family made use of fake foreign remittances and engaged in “organised money laundering”. Akbar went so far as to claim that Shehbaz was “heading a money laundering wing”.

Shehbaz use the laundered money to pay for the custom duty of an imported land cruiser, two houses in Defence Housing Authority and villas in Whispering Pines, he claimed. “About Rs9.5 billion were laundered through fake companies and Ramzan Sugar Mills whose employees’ salary was in the thousands of rupees but billions of rupees went through their bank accounts,” he explained.

The adviser said Shehbaz Sharif should provide answers for the “organised money laundering network run by his children from 2008 and 2018”.

Shehbaz should also explain the source of income of his son Salman Shehbaz and son in law Ali Imran, now living in London, he asserted.

He said that in the case of Bahria Town in Supreme Court (SC), its owner Malik Riaz made a settlement of Rs450 billion and he was complying with the payment schedule. “Anybody could make a plea bargain with NAB, pay the fine and get released,” he added.

He said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is also actively pursuing the case against Jehangir Tareen and Ali Tareen and notices are served on them.