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LAHORE: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar termed the indictment of PML-N president and leader of opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz as a “historic development towards tightening the noose around corrupt elites” and said that it is the proof that all evidences shared with the media were based on “merit”.

“Today, the Accountability Court Lahore indicted both PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz (Punjab’s opposition leader) in possessing assets beyond means, bribery and (alleged) money laundering references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” said the premier’s aide while addressing a press conference at 90 Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam on Wednesday.

“The indictment is a major development which proves that all the evidences shared by the government with the media were based on facts,” he claimed, adding that the charge sheet is comprising 51 paras and 31 pages that describes in detail the “crimes” of Shehbaz, his son Hamza and other people, some of them are in NAB’s custody while the others fled abroad.

According to the charge sheet, Akbar said that a total 16 people are accused of them five had been declared proclaimed offenders including Suleman Shehbaz, Ali Ahmed, Nisar Gill, Tahir Naqvi and Haroon Yousaf.

“We are also making efforts to declare Nusrat Shehbaz, wife of the PML-N president, as a proclaimed offender,” he revealed.

He said though Shehbaz Sharif himself claims that he had never done corruption of a single penny, but now he has been indicted in these three references worth Rs 7.3 billion. To legalise the ill-gotten money being received through telegraphic transfers (TTs), the Shehbaz family had established multiple front companies including Nisar Trading, Mushtaq & Co, Good Nature Company and Waqar Trading.

Talking about the approvers of NAB and how the Sharif family allegedly laundered money, the PM’s aide claimed that Mushtaq “cheeney wala” and his son Yasir Mushtaq, who are in NAB’s custody, have recorded in their statement that they used to launder money for the Sharif family via fake TTs. He said both the approvers “admitted” that they created a fake loan in the tax documents to route the illegal transfer of money.

“Other important approvers are Shahid Mehmood and Aftab,” he asserted, adding that Shahid runs a money exchange company in Pakistan while Aftab used to run a similar company in the United Kingdome. “Through Qasim Qayyum, another accused (approver), cash was being collected in Pakistan and then received it back in bank accounts via TTs,” he alleged. The premier’s aide was off the view that what is most important in this case is that every approver is not only just giving verbal statements but they are too submitting “relevant” documents to NAB.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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