Sharif family
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The JIT tasked with probing the alleged financial wrongdoings of the Sharif family resulting from the April 20 Supreme Court verdict in the Panamagate case has asked for the complete record of the 17-year-old Hudaibya Paper Mills scam from the National Accountability Bureau.

In 2014, the Lahore High Court quashed the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference against the Sharif family giving the reason that NAB had not given a proper opportunity to the Sharif family to join the investigations and justify their assets

Sources in NAB have revealed to the media that the six-member JIT has asked the bureau to provide a complete record of the Hudaibya Paper Mills case. Examination of this case could be damaging to the Sharif family, legal experts believe.

The apex court in its April 20 verdict gave the JIT power to examine evidence and material, if required, already available with the FIA and NAB which could in any way be linked to the possession or acquisition of the London flats or any other of Sharif family’s assets or monetary resources and their origin.

In 2000, NAB had accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family of receiving over Rs1 billion “through illegal and fraudulent means” and had stated that they should be tried under anti-corruption laws, documents submitted by NAB before the Supreme Court on Monday reveal.

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The 2000 NAB proceedings came to light when the bureau’s prosecutor general, Waqas Qadeer Dar, submitted two references related to the Hudaibya Paper Mills scam and ‘illegal’ construction of the Sharif family’s Raiwind estate before the apex court.

In 2014, the Lahore High Court quashed the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference against the Sharif family giving the reason that NAB had not given a proper opportunity to the Sharif family to join the investigations and justify their assets. NAB did not challenge the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.

Hudaibya Paper Mills scandal

According to documents from the 2000 NAB case Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, father Mian Muhammad Sharif, brothers Shehbaz Sharif and Abbas Sharif, Abbas’ wife Sabiha, Nawaz’s son Hussain and Shahbaz’s son Hamza, had been accused of being involved in money laundering.

NAB’s former chairman Lt Gen Khalid Maqbool in his statement to an accountability court sad that “All accused persons in collusion and with the connivance of each other appear to have committed acts of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9 read with Section 10 of the NAB Ordinance,”

It is interesting to note that NAB had excluded the name of current Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in its final reference in the Hudaibya Paper Mills case because he had recorded a confessional statement.

NAB, in its final reference, implicated the Sharif family of making fraudulent accounts and deposits which they used as collateral to obtain loans from various financial institutions.

“There was an unexplained investment of Rs642.743 million appearing in books of the mill as share deposit money. The same belonged to the directors/shareholders and beneficial owners of the company, which they had fraudulently amassed under the garb of foreign equity investment,” final reference stated.

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It further said the company in question settled its loan with the London-based Al Towfeek Company for Investment Funds by making a payment of $8.7 million in 1999 and the source of this payment also appeared to be illicit.

“It appears from the evidence that in order to launder and conceal their ill-gotten wealth, both the Sharif brothers appeared to have fraudulently opened fictitious foreign currency accounts in the names of various individuals with the active connivance of some of their close associates and employees.”

NAB, in its final reference, implicated the Sharif family of making fraudulent accounts and deposits which they used as collateral to obtain loans from various financial institutions.

“The amounts that have been deposited in the said accounts stand unexplained and appear to be beyond the known source of income of the accused individuals,” it said.

Raiwind Estate

Coupled with the Hudaibya Paper Mills case, NAB had submitted, from another reference, documents in which the prime minister and his parents are accused of illegal construction of their famous Raiwind Estate.

The total income of the accused, the Sharif family, during 1992-2000 if added appeared to be Rs41.190 million however total investment made by the Sharif family for the construction of their home amounted to an estimated Rs247.357million.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had probed the illegal construction of houses at Raiwind and it discovered that an area measuring 401 kanals was illegally acquired by the prime minister and his mother. This land had been used for the construction of palatial mansions and other ancillary buildings.

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The total income of the accused, the Sharif family, during 1992-2000 if added appeared to be Rs41.190 million however total investment made by the Sharif family for the construction of their home amounted to an estimated Rs247.357million.

The case came was brought into the spotlight last month when the five-judge bench – headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa – took up the PTI’s plea seeking disqualification of Finance Minister Dar on charges of allegedly facilitating the Sharif family in laundering Rs1.2 billion.

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