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Malik Maqsood’s account contained business money: Hamza Shahbaz

The longstanding case of Malik Maqsoods involvement in money laundering is still unsettled as the whereabouts of the accused are still unknown. State authorities have been trying to locate the Maqsood but have seen no success as of yet.

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In an interview on the local media, the Vice President of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Hamza Shahbaz, stated that the money which came into the account of Malik Maqsood “Chaprasi” was of a business transaction. Malik Maqsood “Chaprasi” has come in the spotlight again ever since the Prime Minister set forth on his campaign against the opposition’s no-confidence vote. The Prime Minister, on multiple occasions, brought up the name of Maqsood Chaprasi and the allegations leveled against him. While addressing a crowd, the PM questioned, “how could a low wage employee have 400 crore rupees in his account”. The Prime Ministers’ repeated reference to the incident resurfaced the debate around money laundering and the purported involvement of several members of the opposition in drowning the country into debt.

To clarify, during the course of the case inquiry No.134/2020 dated 07-08-2020 of FIA ACC Lahore, it was revealed that the total deposit amounting to over Rs. 25 billion (duration 2008-2018) were received in bank accounts of various low-wage employees of Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd and Al-Arabia Sugar Mills and accounts of fake companies set up and controlled by the Sharff group.

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Of the total 25 billion, 3.7 billion were received in the bank account of peon, namely Malik Maqsood and another Rs. 2.8 billion in one Haji Naeem.

During the course of the investigation, the FIA claimed that Shabaz Shariff and his son Hamza Shahbaz had failed to provide a money trail for an amount up to Rs. 16 billion and declared them as prime accused in the money laundering through accounts of their Sugar mill employees. As per the challan, “During inquiry No T34/2020 of FIA ACC Lahore, it revealed that total deposits amounting to over Rs16 billion (duration 2008-2018), were received in bank accounts of various low-wage employees of the Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd (RSML), Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Ltd (ASML) and accounts of fake companies set up and controlled by the Sharif Group.”

The longstanding case of Malik Maqsoods involvement in money laundering is still unsettled as the whereabouts of the accused are still unknown. State authorities have been trying to locate the Maqsood but have seen no success as of yet.

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In the interview, Hamza Shahbaz was also asked whether the Prime Ministers’ claim of a surprise gave him restless nights, to which he responded that “I say this with the fear of Allah” that I have started to pity him [Prime Minister], “the way he has responded to the European Union by outright denying their propositions” and the way he responded to the Americans by saying “absolutely not”, it displays bleak understanding of diplomacy and foreign policy. He further added that it is not going to be the prime minister who will surprise us; instead, we [the opposition] and the public are going to surprise him.