Home South Asia Pakistan Maryam Nawaz faces investigation in billions worth – Chaudhry Sugar Mills scam

Maryam Nawaz faces investigation in billions worth – Chaudhry Sugar Mills scam

Maryam Nawaz, PML-N Vice President, was summoned by the NAB investigation team to answer questions pertaining to her involvement and ownership of the billions worth’ Chaudhry Sugar Mills. She failed to answer the questions, but has been given a detailed questionnaire and ordered to reappear on 8th August.

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News Desk |

On Wednesday, Maryam Nawaz, the Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, sat down for a 45-minutes long interrogation session with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with regards to her involvement in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

Maryam, the daughter of the former premier Nawaz Sharif who is presently languishing in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail, was summoned by the anti-corruption body in their Lahore office. Maryam was accompanied by her husband, Captain Safdar. She has been summoned by NAB again next week.

The NAB launched its inquiry in October 2018, and it revealed that Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif and family members of the deceased Abbas Sharif are key shareholders in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

A three-member team of the NAB grilled Maryam during an interrogation session on the Ramzan Sugar Mills, and after 45 minutes, she was excused. Maryam has been handed a questionnaire, and ordered to appear before the investigation team again on 8th August.

The Chaudhry Sugar Mills Saga 

The PML-N Vice President was questioned by the three-member NAB team regarding the allegations leveled against her and her family members in cases related to money laundering and amassing wealth that is well beyond their means.

She was questioned about the “suspicious” transactions related to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) of which Maryam was one of the largest shareholders. Sources reveal that the three-member investigation team questioned her about the remittances present in her account, considering her shares in CSM. She was also questioned on the details of multiple other suspicious transactions.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz’s account has a lot of money but she has no idea how

The sources added that Maryam responded by stating that all the relevant details pertaining to the transactions were made available in the report of the Joint Investigation Team established to investigate the case report of the Panama Papers.

In January 2018, the financial monitoring unit, established by the PML-N government, approached the accountability watchdog with a massive and dubious transaction, involving billions ‘worth of transactions by the Chaudhry Sugar Mills, which was investigated under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Sources reveal that the NAB launched its inquiry in October 2018, and it revealed that Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif and family members of the deceased Abbas Sharif are key shareholders in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills. Some shareholders belong from the United Kingdom and the UAE.

The NAB has obtained evidence of multiple telegraphic transfers (TTs), worth millions of rupees, made by the Sharif family, including Maryam Nawaz Sharif and other owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills. 

From the period between 201 and 2017, the Chaudhry Sugar Mills received billions worth of investments, made in the name of foreigners, and millions worth of share were issued to these investors. Shortly after, these shares in the CSM were transferred back in the names of Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz, which prompted the NAB to conclude that these foreign names were merely used as proxies to make investments for the Sharif family, who only had illegally laundered black money to invest.

Maryam Fails to Defend Herself

Maryam Nawaz and Yousaf Abbas were summoned during the inquiry; however, they did not succeed in identifying the foreign investments that had made these investments. They also failed to identify the source of the money. Maryam Nawaz was sent “specific questions” in multiple notices, however, she failed to address these questions pertaining to foreign investors and money sources.

Unable to provide rational answers to argue against her involvement in money laundering and illegal income cases, Maryam broadcasted her frustration at the accountability process spearheaded by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter. She accused the premier for bringing down the opposition leaders by using the accountability drive as an instrument.

Read more: Like Father Like Daughter: Maryam Nawaz afraid of courts in Pakistan?

Maryam tweeted, “Back from NAB. Told them the questions about family business have been asked & answered a zillion times & nothing found even by agenda-driven JIT. But since the aim is to use NAB as a tool to harass & victimize, the theater of the absurd continues.”

Maryam continued, “NAB has nothing substantive to ask. No allegation or even remote mention of any corruption, all matters inquired about over & over again pertain to the family business & even in that NOTHING illegal has ever been pointed out or committed. Selected desperately moving in circles.”

The evidence against the Sharif family’s ownership of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills came to light during the inquiry against Shahbaz Sharif and his sons, Salman and Hamza Shahbaz, in cases pertaining to money laundering and wealth beyond their means. In a first, the NAB authorities also summoned Abbas Sharif’s son, Abdul Aziz, to answer the questions of the investigation team.

Reports indicate that soon, the accountability watchdog will summon PML-N President and leader of the Opposition, Shahbaz Sharif, to appear before the investigation team. The NAB has obtained evidence of multiple telegraphic transfers (TTs), worth millions of rupees, made by the Sharif family, including Maryam Nawaz Sharif and other owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

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