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NAB launches money laundering probe against Maryam

Updated July 20, 2019

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PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: As the Islamabad accountability court on Friday rejected a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) application seeking legal proceedings against PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz for using a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield properties case, the anti-graft body initiated another probe against her in money laundering and income beyond means investigation.

The NAB launched another investigation against Maryam Nawaz, her father Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, her cousins Hamza Shahbaz and Yousuf Abbas, and others for owning the M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills Ltd.

The bureau for the first time summoned Yousuf Abbas for July 23 directing him to appear before a combined investigation team of the NAB at Thokar Niaz Baig and record his statement.

The NAB has reportedly traced numerous telegraphic transfers (TTs) worth millions of rupees by the Sharif family and the end beneficiaries included Maryam Nawaz and other owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

“The bureau may send a questionnaire to Ms Nawaz instead of summoning her,” a source told Dawn. He said the money laundering evidence against the owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills surfaced during the probe against Shahbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Salman in income beyond means and money laundering case.

In the call-up notice to Yousuf Abbas, son of the late Abbas Sharif, the NAB said: “The competent authority has taken the cognizance of offences committed by the owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills under the provisions of the NAB Ordinance 1999 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.”

The NAB asked him to “specify the channel through which payment was received for exports, including banking accounts where payment was received, country of export, quality of sugar exported.”

Yousuf Abbas was also asked to provide details of investment/loans given to M/s Shamim Sugar Mills Ltd, all TTs sent and received by him and loan of Rs800 million given to him by various entities as reported in his wealth statement.

Mr Abbas was warned that failing to comply with this notice may entail penal consequences as provided in Section 2 of the NAO 1999.

Meanwhile, the NAB Lahore on Friday wrote to over a dozen commercial banks to freeze more than 150 accounts of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza and Salman, his wives, daughters and daughters-in-law.

Earlier, the NAB Lahore had written to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), director general of the Excise & Taxation Department, the Model Town Housing Society secretary, the Judicial Employees Cooperative Housing Society secretary, the Galliat Development Authority director general and others to get attached all movable and immovable properties of Shahbaz Sharif and his family members.

'Fascist tactics'

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif on Friday presided over a meeting of the party’s provincial parliamentarians and vowed to fight “fascist tactics” of the Imran Khan government against the opposition.

“The multi-party conference of Punjab leadership will be held on Saturday (today) in which it will be decided about holding protest rallies by the participating parties on July 25. We are going to observe July 25 a black day across the country,” PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bokhari told Dawn after the meeting.

She said the PML-N was gearing up to launch a protest campaign against this fascist government.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2019