News Desk |
What is NAB’s case against Maryam Nawaz?
Maryam Nawaz daughter of ex-premier, Nawaz Sharif, and Vice President PMLN, was arrested by NAB from Kot Lakhphat Jail on Aug 8. She was visiting her father in jail at that time. She was supposed to present evidence, in her defense, to NAB in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case however she had sent a letter asking for more time. Earlier she appeared before NAB, in Lahore, on July 31st when NAB asked her to explain how transactions worth US$4.8 million had appeared in her account. She expressed her ignorance and asked time and was granted time till Aug 8th.
Maryam had not paid a penny to Lootah and had transferred the shares in her name. This was a kind of layering used to hide the origins of the money
After her arrest, her supporters on twitter argued that she was arrested because she was getting popular due to her stand on Kashmir and against PM Imran Khan – a charge robustly denied by government officials and PTI supporters. PMLN President, and her uncle, Shahbaz Sharif had mentioned on the floor of national assembly that Maryam had requested through latter that she will appear before NAB after 3 pm, on Aug 8. However now NAB sources have clarified that this is not true and she had merely asked for more time to find evidence in her defense.
Maryam Nawaz (@MaryamNSharif) arrested by NAB. Not unexpected given her increasing popularity and because she was giving a tough time to the government.
— Mehmal Sarfraz (@Mehmal) August 8, 2019
GVS has spoken with sources close to NAB and sources in the legal community that are familiar with this case. Following facts emerged and these are very damaging to the political career of Ms. Maryam Nawaz – unless she can find some evidence to refute these investigations. Sources close to NAB claim:
1: Sharif family sent $4.8 million from London to Mr. Nasir Lootah, a businessman in the UK, to buy real estate property. However, Sharif family canceled the deal in two months and asked Mr. Lootah to send the money to Pakistan instead of returning back to their accounts in London.
2: Mr. Lootah sent the money to Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) account –as he was advised. This transaction prima facie on record looked like the money was sent by Nasir Lootah to Chaudhry Sugar Mills. But in reality, Nasir Lootah was being used and the Nawaz Sharif family was sending their own money back to Pakistan into the accounts of CSM.
3: Now the story takes a more interesting turn. Investigations reveal that Sharif family and their lawyers developed fake papers and documents in the name of Nasir Lootah. According to these papers, it looked like that Mr. Nasir Lootah was buying shares in Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM).
PML-N’s corruption in Nasir Lootah’s name
Meanwhile, Nasir Lootah had no idea what is happening in Pakistan in his name. Shares of CSM were transferred to Nasir Lootah’s name with the help of these forged documents. But then it did not stop there. NAB investigations found out that after a while these shares were transferred in the name of Maryam Nawaz Sharif. The whole transaction was made to look as if Maryam Nawaz had bought shares worth US$ 4.8 million from Mr. Nasir Lootah.
Read more: Maryam Nawaz Arrested by NAB
But Maryam had not paid a penny to Lootah and had transferred the shares in her name. This was a kind of layering used to hide the origins of the money and its transactions. NAB investigations exposed this when they found out that Mr. Lootah was not paid. NAB investigators contacted Lootah in the UK. Lootah explained that he had never bought a single share in Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) and that the money his company had sent to CSM accounts was Sharif family’s own money which they wanted back after the cancellation of the flats they bought – however they wanted the money to be sent back to Pakistan instead of receiving it in the UK.
NAB then asked Lootah to fly to Pakistan as a courtesy. He came to Pakistan and gave all documents and proved, with the help of his company records, as to where the money originally came from into his company and who it actually belongs to, (Nawaz Sharif). NAB then charge-sheeted Maryam and this lead to the release of preliminary information to the media. NAB had asked Maryam for money trail. She was unable to explain it and was given time till Aug 8. Unfortunately for Maryam, NAB has now the entire money trail already in its possession.
Nasir Lootah was apparently used without his knowledge. He is a successful businessman who had clear conscience and flew in, with all record, to help NAB with investigations. If all this is true, as alleged by NAB or revealed in its investigations so far then Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s political future looks pretty bleak. This also multiplies the legal complications of ex-premier and his chance of using political pressure on streets or media to gain a deal has become even more difficult.