LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau, Lahore, has continued the laundering of Rs 7 billion in assets and assets beyond references to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and their family members to the NAB chairman for approval. filed in the accountability court.
It has been learned that references have been received by the NAB Headquarters and after the pre-council meeting, it will be submitted to the head of the NAB for approval. NAB has appointed Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif as the main accused in the reference. In total, NAB has accused 16 people in this case including Nawaz, Maryam, Shahbaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Ali Imran Yousaf and others. In addition, NAB has added statements confirming four people along with 100 witnesses.
In accordance with the details of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills money laundering investigation, the NAB in January 2018 received a report from the Financial Oversight Unit (FMU) describing massive suspicious transactions in billions of rupees at the Chaudhry Sugar Factory under the Anti-Money Laundering Law. It is important to mention here that in January 2018, PML-N ruled the country.
After receiving the UPH report, NAB began an investigation in October 2018 and found that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif and his family and Abbas Sharif and family were shareholders in the company along with several foreigners from the UAE and the United Kingdom. During the investigation, it was revealed that massive investments were made in Chaudhry Sugar Mills from 2001 to 2017 in billions of rupees to issue shares on behalf of foreigners. Interestingly, then, the shares of the same company were transferred back to Maryam, Hussain and Nawaz on various occasions without paying money to foreign business partners.
Maryam during her hearing before NAB CIT allegedly failed to establish business relations with foreign nationals including Saeed Saif Bin Jabar Al-Suweidi (UAE citizen), Sheikh Zakauddin (British citizen), Hani Ahmad Jamjoom (Arab citizen) and Naseer Abdullah Lootah (National UAE) after that he was summoned for August 8 and arrested.
During the process of Maryam’s detention, an investigative report was filed by the NAB in the accountability court, which alleged that Maryam and her father Nawaz Sharif washed hundreds of millions of rupees. The report said that the assets of the accused were beyond their means. NAB told us that Maryam was the director of Chaudhry Sugar Mills from 1992 to 1997 and also the chief executive of the factory in 1995-96. The report said Maryam had 864,000 shares in 1995-96 but in 2008-10, she owned 12 million factory shares and 47 percent of CSM owners. It said Nawaz Sharif was a small shareholder of the factory in 1999 but was the owner of 46 percent of shares in 2015-16.
The NAB claims that Maryam continues to change her attitude regarding shares transferred in her name from foreign nationals. It is said that Maryam said that maybe her grandfather had a business relationship with a foreign citizen. Maryam’s grandfather had died in 2004, but the shares were transferred in her name in 2008. The report said Maryam was a trained politician and was reluctant to share details of the shares.
NAB informed that in October 2013, Rs 500 million was transferred from abroad to Yousaf Abbas’s account and Yousaf’s tax records stated that he had no business on foreign land. It was stated that Maryam and Yousaf bought another sugar factory, the Shamim Sugar Factory with a total of Rs 1.2 billion. Then, in 2013, the factory was sold and the bureau had called the new owner with a note. In addition, the defendant did not answer where the capital came from to buy the Shamim Sugar Factory.
NAB sources claim that investigators came to the conclusion that the names of foreigners were used as proxies to make large investments in the company because of the reason that Sharif’s family did not have white money for investment. They alleged that the Chaudhry Sugar Mills investigation was a classic case of money laundering.
In addition, NAB is investigating all members of the Shahbaz family for money laundering and having assets beyond their means. The NAB had summoned Hassan and Hussain but both did not appear because they were fugitives in the Avenfield case and lived in London.
Meanwhile, NAB Lahore has begun a new investigation of the Nawaz and Shahbaz families for allegedly illegally acquiring thousands of canals in Jati Umra, Raiwind. According to sources, in this investigation, NAB tends to question Shamim Begum, the mother of Sharif’s brothers.
It is known that this matter has also been referred to the head of NAB to change the verification of this complaint into an investigation. In this investigation, it was alleged that Sharif’s family using his influence in 2013 declared thousands of Canals as agricultural land and then in 2014 with the help of the bureaucracy from Ahad Khan Cheema turned the land into a residential area. Then LDA Director General Ahad Khan Cheema and then Lahore DCO Noorul Amin Mengal will also be examined by NAB on this issue, said the source. In addition, after approval of the investigation from the head of NAB, Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif will be issued a notice of summons, the source said.