NAB grills Nawaz twice a day in sugar mills case

Updated October 16, 2019

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been holding two interrogation sessions a day with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif since he was remanded in its custody on Friday last.   — AFP/File
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been holding two interrogation sessions a day with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif since he was remanded in its custody on Friday last. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been holding two interrogation sessions a day with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif since he was remanded in its custody on Friday last.

The NAB arrested the PML-N supreme leader in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case and obtained his physical remand till Oct 25.

“Mr Sharif is not cooperating with the investigators (at the NAB provincial headquarters Thokar Niaz Baig). On every query he responds that no illegal transaction had been made regarding transfer of shares of the mills and his son Hussain Nawaz should be asked for it as he is doing family business,” a source told Dawn on Tuesday.

According to NAB, Nawaz held majority shares of the CSM during his stints as Punjab finance minister, chief minister and prime minister of Pakistan. “Nawaz Sharif invested around Rs2 billion, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income, in the CSM and the Shamim sugar mills from 1992 to 2016. Nawaz also acquired 4.32 million shares worth Rs43m of CSM in the names of his family members at the time of its establishment in 1991.”

The bureau also pinpointed a suspicious transaction of $10.55m loan to the mills by an offshore company, M/s Chadron Limited, St Hellier Jersey in 1992 was found during the probe. “Nawaz didn’t identify the offshore company’s real owners in the documents, he said, adding that he acquired 11.527m shares of the mills worth over Rs400m in 2008 while his declared income for the corresponding year was Rs47m.”

NAB said Nawaz Sharif in connivance with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, nephew Yousaf Abbas (both arrested in this case) and other accused persons laundered Rs410m by showing false and fictitious transfer of 11m shares of the sugar mills in the name of a foreigner, Nasser Abdullah Lootah. He said the same shares were transferred back to Nawaz in 2014 when he was again holding the office of the prime minister.

The PML-N has termed it a “political victimisation and selective use of NAB” against its leaders.

SUSPECTS: As many as 100,000 individuals were called by NAB Lahore during the last two years

The NAB called in 100,000 individuals during probe of ongoing cases from 2017 till to-date. “Only 859 suspects were arrested during the period on solid evidence,” it said, adding 700,000 individuals had been summoned in different corruption scams since NAB’s inception in 1999 till 2016. Of them 1,532 suspects were arrested.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019