Two nephews of Nawaz offloaded from Madina-bound flight

Published August 2, 2019
Yousuf Abbas and Abdul Aziz Abbas were going to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj when offloaded by FIA. — Dawn/File
Yousuf Abbas and Abdul Aziz Abbas were going to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj when offloaded by FIA. — Dawn/File

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday offloaded two nephews of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from a Saudi Arabia-bound flight at Allama Iqbal International Airport on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Yousuf Abbas and Abdul Aziz Abbas, sons of the late Abbas Sharif, were going to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj when they were offloaded from the Madina-bound flight by the FIA immigration officials who said their names were on the Provisional National Identity List (PNIL), a new ECL-like category introduced recently in immigration laws under which a passenger can be stopped from leaving the country on the request of a government department.

Both brothers have been named in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case by the Lahore office of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

“NAB had recently written to the interior ministry to place the names of Yousuf Abbas and Abdul Aziz Abbas on the PNIL so that they could not leave the country,” an official told Dawn.

He said the two brothers were shareholders in the CSM and had failed to reply to the NAB’s queries regarding investments and remittances they received when they appeared recently before a combined investigation team of NAB Lahore.

“Both are facing money laundering and ‘income beyond means’ investigations in this case along with Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz and others,” he said.

On Wednesday PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz had appeared before officials of NAB Lahore in the same case. Being a major shareholder, she recorded her statement before the investigation team regarding ‘dubious’ business transactions of CSM.

About the case, a source said: “Huge investments were made in the CSM from 2001 to 2017, in billions of rupees, in the name of foreigners (by) issuing shares in millions to them; later on the same shares of the company were transferred back to Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif at various times without any consideration, which led to the conclusion that names of foreigners were used as proxies to make huge investments in the company for the reason that the Sharif family did not have white money for investment.”

Maryam Nawaz, Yousuf Abbas and Abdul Aziz Abbas joined the inquiry but reportedly failed to identify the foreigners who made the investments and what the source of the money was. NAB has again summoned Maryam Nawaz and Abdul Aziz Abbas on Aug 8, and asked them to provide details of their shareholding in the CSM, and details of their financial relations with four foreign nationals — Saeed Said bin Jabar al Suweidi, a UAE citizen; Sheikh Zakauddin, a UK national; Hani Ahmad Jamjoon, a Saudi citizen; and Naseer Abdullah Lootah, a UAE national.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2019

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