NAB arrests another Sharif family employee in money laundering case

14 Dec 2019

Email

The employee of Sharif Group of Companies allegedly runs a benami company. — AP/File
The employee of Sharif Group of Companies allegedly runs a benami company. — AP/File

An accountability court on Saturday remanded in the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) custody another suspect in a case against members of the Sharif family pertaining to alleged money laundering

The accountability watchdog today arrested the suspect, Rashid Karamat, an employee of Hamza Shehbaz Sharif since 2007, for allegedly holding a benami company to facilitate several members of the Sharif family.

The prosecution alleged that the suspect, an employee of Sharif Group of Companies, represented himself as the owner of the company — M/s Nisar Trading Concern. It added that the company was established with the funds of the accused nominated in the case, including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Suleman, who also benefited from it.

NAB officials said that transactions worth Rs450 million from the bank account of the suspect had been recorded. The accountability watchdog alleged that the suspect had been playing an "important role" in alleged money laundering for the Sharif family.

According to NAB, Karamat not only provided a channel to the accused in the case for money laundering but also committed the financial crime himself.

Members of the Shehbaz Sharif family face multiple accountability cases pertaining to alleged ownership of assets beyond their means and alleged involvement in corrupt practices. NAB claims that assets worth Rs3.3 billion have been identified so far as illegally accumulated by Hamza, Suleman and their father Shehbaz. It alleges that the entire family committed massive money laundering in the name of foreign remittances and loans.

In May, a NAB prosecutor had said that Mohammad Mushtaq alias Cheeni, who was the manager of Ramzan Sugar Mills and had been offloaded from a PIA flight before being arrested in April, had disclosed that Suleman used bank accounts opened in the names of his employees, who were either labourers or low-paid workers.

In August, two suspects had turned approvers against Shehbaz and his two sons in the money laundering case. Aftab Mahmood and Shahid Rafiq — the approvers — had claimed to have laundered millions of dollars through Telegraphic Transfers (TT) to Hamza, Suleman, their mother Nusrat Shehbaz and sister Rabia Imran.

In October, an accountability court had declared Suleman a proclaimed offender in the money laundering case.