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Monday, October 26, 2020

Pakistan government files money laundering case against Shahbaz Sharif, family

According to the case, the Sharif family was involved in fake foreign remittances and organised money laundering.

By: PTI | Islamabad | Updated: September 24, 2020 12:00:27 pm
Pakistan's opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif arrested in money laundering caseThe Imran Khan government last week filed the money laundering case against 69-year-old Shahbaz, who served as chief minister of Punjab province from 2008 to 2018, and his family. (Reuters)

The Pakistan government has filed a Rs 7 billion (USD 41.9 million) money laundering case against the Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif and his family.

Shahbaz, 69, is the younger brother of former premier Nawaz Sharif. He served as chief minister of Punjab from 2008 to 2018.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday said that Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML-N President Shahbaz and his sons Hamza and Salman were involved in money laundering through fake accounts, but he (Shahbaz) always pretended to have nothing to do with their businesses, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a case, accusing Shahbaz Sharif and his children of money laundering to the tune of over Rs 7 billion in a Lahore NAB court,” he said.

Akbar said the financial monitoring unit had detected 177 suspicious transactions of Shahbaz’ family after which NAB started a probe.

He said the case comprised 55 volumes and 25,000 pages of documentary evidence against the Sharifs, including company records, bank statements and foreign remittances.

“The record was compiled after detailed investigation by NAB teams which nominated 16 accused in the case — six family members and their 10 accomplices,” Akbar said, adding that four of the accused had turned approvers and disclosed their role in money laundering carried out by the Sharif family.

He said billions of rupees were laundered through employees of the companies owned by Shahbaz and his children.

Akbar accused Shahbaz and Hamza of taking kickbacks and commissions in return for party tickets and projects to favourites.

According to the case, the Sharif family was involved in fake foreign remittances and organised money laundering.

Shahbaz paid for the custom duty of an imported vehicle, two houses in Defence Housing Authority and villas in Whispering Pines from the laundered money, Akbar alleged.

About Rs 9.5 billion was laundered through fake companies and Ramazan Sugar Mills whose employees’ salaries were in thousands of rupees but billions went through their bank accounts, he said.

Akbar said that Shahbaz should explain the organised money laundering network that was run by his children between 2008 and 2018.

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