Four witnesses record statements to NAB in Asif assets case

NAB chief says anti-graft body has solid evidence of money-laundering of billions of rupees by the 'big fish'

LAHORE: Four witnesses have recorded their statements to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with the assets beyond income case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

According to NAB documents, a bank peon in Lahore had submitted over Rs28 million to the bank account of Khawaja Asif following the orders of senior officers. The nephew of Khawaja Asif, Khawaja Sultan, had submitted Rs20 million to his bank account after being told to do so by his paternal uncle.

Likewise, a senior political worker Rana Abdul Waheed had submitted Rs30 million to Asif’s account and told the anti-graft body that the money was given to him by Asif, according to the documents.

Another political activist Sarmad Ijaz had withdrawn Rs5 million from Asif’s bank account and handed over the money to him. The documents stated that Asif had failed to respond to the NAB’s query regarding the money from where it was earned.

Earlier on Friday last, an accountability court in Lahore had sent Khawaja Asif to jail on 14-day judicial remand in the assets beyond income case. The court had ordered the authorities to produce Asif on February 7 again.

NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has said that the National Accountability Bureau has solid evidence of money-laundering of billions of rupees by the “big fish”. He said the bureau has filed corruption references on the basis of this evidence.

“NAB is on the right track due to the commitment of its officials. Solid evidence of billions of rupees money-laundering are available, which were laundered by opening fake accounts in the names of falooda walas, chhabri walas and papar walas,” he said.

NAB investigates white-collar mega corruption cases and time is required to probe such cases as some information needs to be collected from abroad, he said, adding that there is a difference between white-collar crime and street crime. He promised to take the ongoing flour and sugar scam investigations to a logical conclusion as per the law.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had identified bribery and nepotism as the “main curses”, the NAB chairperson said. The anti-graft body is considered a role model organisation by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, he underscored, adding that Transparency International Pakistan (TIP), PILDAT and Mishal Pakistan have lauded NAB’s anti-corruption endeavours.

The chairperson claimed NAB had so far recovered Rs714 billion since its inception. “Some 1,243 corruption cases, having accumulated corruption volume of Rs943 billion, are under trial in various accountability courts,” he said.


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