In a section titled "Ownership of Avenfield Apartments", the final report submitted by the Panamagate joint investigation team (JIT) on 10 July, points out major discrepancies in documents submitted and statements made by members of the Sharif family and forensic evidence that was collected as part of the JIT’s efforts.
The damning report states that Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz, Capt Muhammad Safdar and Hasan Nawaz tried to mislead and manipulate the Supreme Court of Pakistan through a series of fake documents submitted or signed by the defendants.
During Supreme Court proceedings, it was claimed by the defendants that bearer shares of both Nescoll Limited and Nielson Enterprises Limited were transferred from former Qatari premier Hamad Al-Thani to Hussain Nawaz in early 2006.
According to the defendants, Maryam Safdar signed a ‘trust deed’ with Hussain Nawaz, making her a trustee of the Avenfield properties in February 2006.
Another trust deed was claimed to have been signed in 2008.
The JIT report notes that in a specific response to produce the original trust deed documents, Maryam Safdar (Nawaz) provided copies which she claimed to be the originals but were in fact “good quality photocopies of the originals.”
The report goes on to note that the family's defence was based on selected documents or records but the defendants “failed to produce any additional document/record or evidence before the JIT to substantiate their stated position” with regards to the apartments in question.
The JIT report asserts that after authentication of documents, the defence of Maryam Safdar and Hussain Nawaz is rendered “incorrect”.
The JIT also took into account letters from Errol George (director of the Financial Investigation Agency of the British Virgin Islands) and the responses to it from Mossack Fonseca & Co. The JIT points out that in response to its Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request, George verified his correspondence with Nizbeth Madura (money laundering reporting officer of Mossack Fonseca & Co).
According to George, the response from Maduro with regards to both companies confirms that “the beneficial owner of the company is Maryam Safdar”.
The correspondence also goes on to verify that Mossack Fonseca & Co has not been “in receipt of the names, contact details and physical address of the Settler, Trustee and Beneficiary of any Trusts connected to or concerned with the aforementioned company.”
The JIT report observes that the authentication of relevant documents “prove beyond doubt that Maryam Safdar [Nawaz] was the real beneficial owner of Nielson and Nescoll offshore companies in 2012 and thus owned Avenfield properties” and that “there was no Trust/Trustees associated with these companies”.
The report also concludes that the address of Maryam Safdar, as seen in the letters of Maduro, is of Saroor Palace in Jeddah.
It further goes on to state that since Maryam Nawaz was living at the same address between 2000 and 2005 and in the absence of any contradictory documentary evidence, she is the “real beneficial owner of the Avenfield properties under Nielson and Nescoll offshore companies”.
Additionally, an analysis of Maryam Nawaz's tax returns shows that “she had never declared Avenfield Apartments as her overseas properties”.
Another letter in question was quoted from the Samba Financial Group, addressed to Minerva Financial Services and dated December 3, 2005. With regards to the letter, Maryam Nawaz maintained that she was “given this letter on her request since she was Trustee of Avenfield properties”, which were handled by Minerva Financial Services.
According to the JIT report, the “contention of Ms. Maryam Safdar [Nawaz] of being Trustee of Avenfield properties, and that being the reason for her linkage with Minerva Services and the Samba letter is rendered totally incorrect” since the authenticated letters of George proved her to be “the beneficial owner of these properties, which were managed by Minerva Services.”
With regards to the above mentioned properties and their ownership, the JIT report concludes that “Maryam Safdar [Nawaz] has submitted fake/falsified documents to the JIT, which is a criminal offence.”
The report goes on to call these documents “decoys to manipulate facts”. Furthermore, Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz and Capt Muhammad Safdar “signed these falsified and misleading documents.”
The JIT also states that the submission of these documents by Hasan Nawaz also makes him involved in “manipulating and misleading the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
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