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ISLAMABAD: The government has claimed to have collected evidence of money laundering against Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, by unearthing some Telegraphic Transactions (TTs) worth millions of rupees sent to Ms Nawaz from the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) in Saudi Arabia.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said at a press conference on Friday that the Sharif family had made illegal money through kickbacks and commissions during the 1990s.

He said he had written to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with evidence of several more telegraphic transfers (TTs) from the HME in Saudi Arabia to Ms Nawaz.

Sharing some documents related to the transfers from the HME to the PML-N vice president, Mr Akbar claimed that over 85 per cent of the declared profit of the company had gone to Nawaz Sharif, of which a share had been gifted to his daughter Maryam.

Shahzad Akbar says documents have been shared with NAB

“A TT of Rs14 million was transferred to Maryam’s MCB account in 2008, in which the purpose specified was investment. Another TT amounting to Rs19m and yet another of Rs9.9m in 2016 were transferred from the HME to her account in the Habib Bank’s Jati Umra Sharif Education City branch,” he added.

“I have written to NAB with evidence after details of the transfers were unearthed,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz were main accused in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment references and the former prime minister has been awarded seven-year sentence in one of the cases. The Sharifs were unable to justify the source of funds provided to set up Al-Azizia Steel Mills and the HME in Saudi Arabia.

Shahzad Akbar said it had been proved that payments were made to Maryam Nawaz by the HME, adding that a joint investigation team looking into the case had identified some payments made to Ms Nawaz, but the details of those transactions had not been available earlier.

He said evidences revealed a form ‘R’, in which the beneficiary took ownership of the money transferred and acknowledged that the money was coming for a specified purpose.

The PM’s special assistant said that NAB might not have seen this additional documentary evidence before and hoped that the anti-graft watchdog could determine if there was a need to further probe into the matter.

“We hope that NAB will further investigate money laundering cases against the Sharifs in the light of fresh evidence we have shared with it,” he added.

APP adds: Ms Nawaz had not shown these remittances in any of her tax document submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue, Mr Akbar said.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2019