FIA alleges Rs16 billion illegal transactions by Shehbaz, Hamza

Published November 21, 2021
This file photo shows PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (L) and his son Hamza Shehbaz. — AFP/File
This file photo shows PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (L) and his son Hamza Shehbaz. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday claimed to have found Rs16 billion credit transactions through secret bank accounts by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz, opened in the names of their peons and clerks.

The FIA says the money laundering investigations against the Sharif group are underway.

“The investigation team under the FIA’s Lahore director has worked very diligently to unwind the financial matrix in this extremely complex case,” FIA Lahore said in a handout issued here on Saturday.

It says the team analysed money trail of over 17,000 credit transactions (worth over Rs16bn) in the secret bank accounts of peons and clerks of the Sharif group (Sharif family) between 2008 and 2018. The investigation team has found “indelible and incontrovertible” documentary evidence of the direct involvement of Shehbaz Sharif, former chief minister, and his son Hamza Shehbaz in the affairs of the Sharif group which had been used as Sharif’s vehicle for money laundering, it claimed.

“Both Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz were holding public offices. They are fully accountable for Rs16bn acquired secretly in the names of their peons and clerks,” it says.

The FIA further says the public position taken by PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar, also a legal adviser to the Sharifs, that the agency has failed to collect evidence of corruption of even a single penny (against Shehbaz and Hamza) is totally “frivolous” and “an attempt to mislead the public at large”.

In response to the FIA handout, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Auranzeb said Prime Minister Imran Khan was suffering from ‘Sharif phobia’ for the past many years.

“Earlier, there was National Accountability Bureau unleashed at the Sharifs and now it is FIA. Imran should be ashamed that his government [could not] prove a single corruption allegation against Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif neither in the UK nor in Pakistan,” she said and added the verdicts by the UK and Pakistani courts were a “slap on the face of the PTI government”.

Ms Aurangzeb said the NAB had failed to present any evidence against Shehbaz Sharif in the money laundering case during the last three years and now the FIA was following in the bureau’s footsteps.

“Through this political victimisation, the government cannot mitigate the sufferings it inflicted on the people through price hike, inflation, gas shortage,” she said.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2021

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