Why is Hamza Shahbaz a wanted man?

Published April 6, 2019
Like many in the Sharif family, Hamza faces accountability cases for allegedly owning assets beyond his means. — DawnNewsTV/File
Like many in the Sharif family, Hamza faces accountability cases for allegedly owning assets beyond his means. — DawnNewsTV/File

Hamza Shahbaz, like many of the scions of the Sharif family, has been ensnared in multiple accountability cases pertaining to alleged ownership of assets beyond his means and alleged involvement in corrupt practices.

He, along with his brother Salman, is accused of embezzling Rs200 million from public funds in order to build a bridge benefiting Ramzan Sugar Mills — of which he is a director — in Chiniot. The money, according to NAB, was released by then chief minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, who is also a suspect in the case.

Hamza is also accused of owning assets beyond means and is being probed by a combined investigation team from NAB. According to an earlier report by Dawn, he was unable to satisfy the investigation team regarding properties owned by him in Pakistan and abroad.

The provincial lawmaker separately faces an inquiry into the Saaf Pani Company case for presiding over some meetings of its board of directors and allegedly issuing orders regarding the award of contracts.

NAB claims Hamza was not even a member of the board at the time he attended the meetings. According to the anti-graft watchdog, Hamza had also awarded certain contracts despite not having any authority to do so. Saaf Pani is one of the 56 public-sector companies formed by the Shahbaz Sharif administration in Punjab, that are being probed by NAB for alleged irregularities, recruitment in violation of procurement rules and merit, nepotism, and non-completion of various projects in time.

Last year, the federal cabinet had placed his name on the no-fly list on NAB's request. In February this year, however, the Lahore High Court allowed him to visit London for 10 days to see his newborn daughter, who was undergoing a medical procedure.

On Friday, his name was placed on the ECL again, this time in cases pertaining to money laundering and owning assets beyond means.

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