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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Will Shehbaz Sharif answer the 18 questions posed by Shahzad Akbar?

Now it is to be seen whether Shehbaz Sharif will come back to Pakistan or not after Shahzad Akbar leveled serious allegations against him? Will Shehbaz Sharif be arrested upon his arrival?

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Barrister Shahzad Akbar Thursday said that a sophisticated network of money laundering was being run from Punjab Chief Minister Secretariat under the patronage of former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who often claims not committing even a penny corruption. He also posed 18 questions and demanded answers from the former CM.

Analysts believe that the SAPM’s presser was a response to the earlier statements of the former CM who alleged government of plotting against him. Political commentators are now quietly mulling if Shehbaz Sharif will ever come to Pakistan after a hard-hitting press conference by the SAPM.

Talking to media, he said a sum of over 7 billion had been laundered by just one company Good Nature Trading Company through 200 fake Telegraphic Transfer (TTs) and assets of Salman Shehbaz Sharif had increased by over 8,000 times in last one decade. A new business empire was established by utilizing the corruption amount through a network of fake TTs, which was totally separate from the Sharif family’s business of Ittefaq Group.

It is important to note that the PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday held a press conference in London to declare that the “Niazi-NAB nexus had once more been dealt a defeat”.

His remarks came a day after PTI senior counsel Naeem Bokhari withdrew a set of appeals challenging bail granted to Shehbaz in the Ashiana case and the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif worth 200 million pounds? David Rose stands by his story

Shehbaz discussed the court proceedings and criticized how “despite an army of NAB prosecutors”, PTI’s Naeem Bukhari had appeared to defend the case. “When Naeem Bukhari sahib saw things are not panning out for him, he voluntarily withdrew his applications which had sought the cancellation of my bail,” he said.

Shehbaz said that over the past year-and-a-half malicious propaganda had been undertaken by “Imran Khan Niazi and his ministers” in which poisonous remarks were made but the comments given by the honorable bench, and especially the chief justice, in yesterday’s hearing had “separated all the truth from the lies”.

Sharing details of money laundering, he said the modus operandi of money laundering was Shahbez Sharif established a fake company Good Nature Trading Company and appointed his front men Nisar Gill as Director Political Affairs in CM Secretariat and Ali Ahmed as Director Policy CM Punjab and they did money laundering on behalf of Shehbaz family. The fake company was actually run by Salman Shehbaz. The company did Rs.7 billion business, that too on papers.

He said two more characters including Shoaib Qamar and Mansoor Anwar were involved in a money-laundering network as cash boys. They used to deposit money in different accounts. They withdrew Rs 2.1 billion cash from the account of Good Nature Company. Rs.16 million were deposited in the account of Shehbaz Sharif, who transferred it to Ms. Tehmina Durrani and the same amount was used for purchasing property in Whispering Pines Villas.

The same cash boys deposited Rs.25 million to Salman Shehbaz’s Account after withdrawing from Good Nature Company. Similarly, another amount was transferred to account of Hamza Shehbaz, who transferred it to the account of his wife and utilized the same amount for purchasing properties in Johar Town, Lahore. The remaining amount was stashed away through TTs. The whole process was done in papers.

Mr. Akbar said Rs 6.8 billion was withdrawn from Good Nature Company’s account and Rs 4.7 billion and then injected to another company. The control room was in Chief Minister secretariat and some more characters of money laundering network would emerge soon.

Read more: Shahzad Akbar Challenges Shehbaz Sharif to Sue & take him to British Court

He also noted that the details of 190 million pounds (Rs 39 billion) recovered from Property tycoon Malik Riaz Ahmed could not be divulged as Pakistan have to honor deed of confidentiality committed with the government of the United Kingdom. This was civil repatriation and record success of the government of Pakistan. UK government has transferred the recovered amount.

Posing 18 questions to former Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, he hoped that Shehbaz would answer these questions; Whether Nisar Gill and Ali Ahmed were not working as directors for Political Affairs and Strategy and Policy, respectively in the Chief Minister’s office during his tenure as Chief Ministers Punjab?

Shehbaz Sharif Sahib, whether both aforementioned persons were not your front men and owners of Good Nature Company (GNC) which existed only on papers? Can you confirm that Nisar Gill had written his designation as Advisor on Political Affairs in his Bank Account Opening Form and the address he wrote in the form was Chief Minister Office?

Shehbaz Sharif accused of corruption: Daily Mail

Back in July 2019, a British newspaper alleged Shehbaz Sharif of money laundering and corruption. According to a confidential investigation report seen by the Daily Mail, millions of pounds were transferred into the bank accounts of Shehbaz’s family members, including his wife, children, and a son-in-law. It states to have interviewed key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen, Aftab Mehmood, who claims that he had laundered millions on behalf of Shehbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham – without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators, who inspected his books regularly.

According to Daily Mail, investigators are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from the Department for International Development (DFID)-funded aid projects. For rehabilitating and rebuilding the lives of the poor, the DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers; and the legal documents allege that Shehbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from that fund.

Read more: NAB determined to Freeze Shehbaz Sharif’s Assets

As per claims by the Daily Mail, Britain’s National Crime Agency has been working closely with Pakistani investigators and Home Secretary Sajid Javid discussing the possible extradition of members of Shehbaz’s family, who have taken refuge in London.

A confidential investigation report, seen by Daily Mail, says the family was worth just £150,000 in 2003 but by 2018 their total assets had grown to around £200 million. Among other properties, Shehbaz owns a 53,000 sq ft palace in Lahore, which has its own large security force. The money, the report says, was channeled from abroad – via several elaborate money-laundering schemes, in which Britain played a central role.