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Suspect in Ramzan Sugar Mills case offloaded from plane, taken into custody

Updated April 08, 2019

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He was offloaded from PIA's flight 203. — Wikimedia Commons
He was offloaded from PIA's flight 203. — Wikimedia Commons

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday offloaded a manager of the Ramzan Sugar Mills and took him into custody from the Lahore airport, sources in FIA told DawnNewsTV.

Mohammad Mushtaq alias Chini — whose name had been on the Exit Control List — was attempting to flee to Dubai, said an official. He was offloaded from Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-203.

According to sources, Mushtaq's name was placed on the ECL on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The suspect will be handed over to NAB.

Read more: LHC restrains NAB from arresting Hamza Shahbaz

Mushtaq is alleged to be a front man for someone from the Sharif family, an official said, and had gone underground after National Assembly Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif was arrested.

Sources said NAB wants to grill Mushtaq in connection with a sum of Rs600 million he transferred to the account of Salman Shahbaz.

According to NAB, Shahbaz Sharif, being chief minister of Punjab, had issued a directive for the construction of a drain in Chiniot primarily to benefit the sugar mills owned by his sons. The PML-N president misused his authority as Punjab chief minister to benefit factories owned by his sons, it said.

On Dec 3, 2018, police had also registered a case against 18 people, including top management of Ramzan Sugar Mills, and arrested 11 of them on charges of duping the public.

It was alleged that the suspects had duped farmers by getting their signatures on some forms favouring the construction of a drain from the mills to the local nullah. They had obtained the signatures by enticing the said farmers with hens and cows that were to be provided under a scheme.

On Feb 17, NAB had filed a new reference in the accountability court against PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz in connection with the mills.

The father-son duo, leaders of the opposition in the national and Punjab assemblies respectively, had been nominated as the primary accused in the reference.

The bureau alleges that Shahbaz and Hamza "fraudulently and dishonestly" caused a Rs213m loss to the national exchequer.

It said it obtained "sufficient incriminating" material and evidence during investigation.

Both Shahbaz and Hamza have pleaded not guilty to the charges.