FIA doubles down in sugar scam probe against Hamza

Published July 4, 2021
The PML-N says the ‘fresh show-cause notice’ is an attempt of the agency at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan to implicate Hamza Shehbaz in the case which has already been probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and he spent 20 months in jail. — Dawn/File
The PML-N says the ‘fresh show-cause notice’ is an attempt of the agency at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan to implicate Hamza Shehbaz in the case which has already been probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and he spent 20 months in jail. — Dawn/File

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has tightened the noose around the neck of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s son Hamza in the sugar scam by issuing him yet another notice seeking ‘money trail’ of Rs25 billion.

The FIA says, “it has been evident that this amount was illegally acquired and concealed by him.”

The FIA Lahore also forewarned the Punjab Assembly opposition leader on Saturday to comply with its order within 30 days or face confiscation of his properties. It issued the show-cause notice three days after Hamza appeared before an investigation team. He reportedly failed to give satisfactory replies to the queries related to money laundering to the tune of Rs25bn during his two recent appearances before the FIA.

The PML-N says the ‘fresh show-cause notice’ is an attempt of the agency at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan to implicate Hamza in the case which has already been probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and he spent 20 months in jail. The NAB’s reference against Hamza, his father and other family members is pending with the accountability court. Hamza and Shehbaz are on bail in this case till July 10.

According to the show-cause notice, the FIA said: “During investigation of the sugar scam it has become evident that deposits of over Rs25bn acquired and concealed (nature and origin of funds) by you (Hamza)/ under your control are proceeds of crime (u/s 5 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947) and money laundering transactions of the Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010.”

The FIA asked Hamza to share complete details of all immovable properties (within or outside Pakistan) “which are / had been beneficially held by you or on your behalf since 2008 (including trusted / gifted), whether held singly or jointly, including the actual cost, mode and date of acquisition of such property (declared to FBR / otherwise).”

“Complete details of all vehicles, bank-accounts deposits, investments, advances / loads given to family, family-owned or any 3rd parties, shares and mutual fund units, valuable jewelry, cash (local or foreign currency), prize-bonds or any monetary-instruments (within or outside Pakistan) held / extended / received or gifted to / by you or on your behalf, since 2008 and the source of funds. Share all evidence and relevant information on which you want to rely (within a period of thirty days) to prove that your assets are not proceeds of crime and thereby show cause as to why all (including those mentioned below) or any of your properties should not be declared to be the properties involved in the money laundering and hence forfeited to the federal government,” the FIA asked Hamza.

The FIA identified Hamza’s properties -- residence (10 kanal approx.) located at 48 to 51 Judicial Employees Cooperative Society (JECHS), Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, a property located at 61 to 71 K-Block Johar Town Lahore, land /property (250 kanal) lands / property in Mouza Darootah, Chiniot and investments/shares in Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd., Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Ltd and their related / associated / subsidiary (family-owned) companies in which Hamza is / had been CEO / Director / Shareholder (after 2008) and Unitas Power, loans / advances extended to Sharif Feed Mills (Pvt) Ltd., Madina Construction Company (Pvt) Ltd., Madni Trading Company (Pvt) Ltd., Sharif Poultry Farms (Pvt) Ltd., and Sharif Dairy Farms & Milk Products (Pvt) Ltd.

PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said Imran Khan should decide once and for all how many times he would harass Hamza in the same case. “Every single asset had been declared and the record is with the Election Commission and FBR who had raised no objection to it,” she added.

“All this is nothing but another instrument of political victimisation because the NAB-Niazi alliance had failed miserably,” she said.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2021

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