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LAHORE: An additional registrar of the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Ghulam Mustafa on Friday maintained before an accountability court that Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had never been a director of Ramzan Sugar Mills.

The court adjourned further hearing of the money laundering reference against Shahbaz Sharif and his family members till February 18 after the defense counsel completed cross examination on the prosecution witness Ghulam Mustafa.

The court also directed the prosecution to produce more witnesses on the next hearing.

Replying several queries of the defence, the official Ramzan said the record submitted by him before the court did not show that Shehbaz ever held the office of the sugar mill’s director or received any monetary benefit from the accounts of the mills.

At this Shehbaz, who was present in the court, said abruptly that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wanted to make him director of all the companies in Pakistan.

The Presiding Judge asked Shehbaz in a lighter view, whether he would accept the directorship of all companies if offered.

With the court’s permission, Shehbaz went on to say that all the allegations leveled in the reference had already been declared false by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in an investigation carried out against him and his family in London. He said the NAB had supplied its whole record to the NCA but the latter found no criminal activity in the business of his family.

Shehbaz said he developed assets in London as he was forced to live in exile during the dictatorship of Gen. Musharraf.

Shehbaz’s son Hamza and leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly also appeared before the court.

The NAB alleged in its reference that the family members and benamidars of Shehbaz received fake foreign remittances of billions in their personal bank accounts. In addition to these remittances, the bureau said, billions of rupees were laundered by way of foreign pay orders, which were deposited in personal bank accounts of his sons Hamza and Suleman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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