An accountability court in Lahore has granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) its request for a 14-day physical remand of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif in an assets beyond means and money-laundering case.
He has denied any wrongdoing, and argued his case himself in the court.
Following the arguments, Judge Jawad-ul-Hasan accepted the NAB’s request and ordered Sharif to be presented in the court again on October 13.
Earlier, the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, who spoke to the media after arriving at the court, said that his party will fight the “NAB-Niazi nexus”.
“Niazi” is a reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“NAB-Niazi nexus has failed, we will fight it,” said Sharif.
The NAB had arrested the former Punjab chief minister after the Lahore High Court rejected his interim pre-arrest bail.
The anti-graft body has claimed that the assets of Sharif’s family ballooned from Rs2mn to Rs7bn in the last 30 years, which they have failed to justify, it was reported yesterday.
This was detailed by the NAB in a document, which showed that in 1990, the opposition leader’s declared assets were worth Rs2.121mn, which had grown to Rs7.328bn by 2018.
The NAB stated that by 1998, Sharif’s net assets (including the assets of his minor children) had increased to Rs14.865mn.
The anti-corruption watchdog alleged that the PML-N president, in connivance with his co-accused family members, benamidars, front men, close associates, employees and money changers, developed an organised system of money-laundering for the accumulation of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs7.328bn.
After holding the public office (mostly during the years 2008 and 2018, when Sharif was the Punjab chief minister), his family’s assets grew to Rs7.328bn, the NAB added.
While sharing the details of assets of the Opposition Leader, NAB Lahore further claimed that Sharif’s family invested Rs2.770bn in 13 newly-established companies under the umbrella of the Sharif Group of Companies, naming them as M/s Sharif Feed, M/s Chiniot Power, M/s Al-Arabia Sugar Mills, M/s Sharif Dairy Farms, etc, without having known sources of income.
The accused established benami companies namely M/s Good Nature Trading Company Pvt Ltd, M/s Unitas Steel Pvt Ltd, M/s Waqar Trading Company and M/s Nisar Trading Concern (held in the name of Nisar Ahmad and Ali Ahmad, employees of the CM Secretariat) to allegedly launder disproportionate funds of Rs2,400.088mn.
The accused also acquired properties, including foreign assets, along with 96-H, Model Town, Lahore, Nishat Lodge Doonga Gali, villas at Whispering Pines, and houses at DHA Lahore worth Rs619.858mn.
The NAB claimed that to justify the alleged ill-gotten assets of Rs7.328bn, the accused and his family members/benamidars showed foreign remittances of Rs1,597mn and loans of Rs1,010mn, which proved to be fake as the remitters denied having sent any amount to the accused or his family members.
Moreover, loans were falsely shown as the source, while the lenders paid the employees of the Sharif Group, the NAB added.
The statement added that the value of the Sharif family’s disproportionate assets acquired through laundered money comes to the tune of Rs6,122mn, with a present value of Rs7,328mn in the year 2018, whereas the total known sources of Shehbaz Sharif and his family were Rs584.444mn.
The aforesaid assets of the accused and his family members were found to be disproportionate to their known sources of income, it claimed.
The NAB concluded that during investigations, the declared and undeclared assets of the accused have been identified, for which they could not account for, as the sources of income claimed by them proved to be fictitious and unknown.
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