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Shehbaz Sharif, sons main suspects in Rs16bn money laundering case: FIA report

Updated 15 Dec, 2021
Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza have secured pre-arrest bail in the case till Dec 16. File photo
Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza have secured pre-arrest bail in the case till Dec 16. File photo

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday submitted a challan in a banking court against opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Suleman citing them as the main suspects in a Rs16 billion money laundering case, reported Aaj News.

“The investigation team has found 28 benami accounts which were operated under Shehbaz and his house hold’s names — while the opposition leader was chief minister and Hamza was member of National Assembly — from 2008 to 2018,” read the challan.

The FIA submitted the challan, comprising seven volumes and at least 4,000 pages, in the banking court in which 17 accused have been held responsible for the crime.

Cases were registered against 14 people under sections 5(2) and 5(3) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, reported Dawn.

“Shehbaz was directly involved in $5 million money laundering by using 28 accounts through which transactions worth Rs16 billion performed,” read the challan.

The agency in its report also said that one Sadiqa Syed helped Shehbaz in laundering money with the help of Ishaq Dar, who was then finance minister.

“Eleven low-paid employees of the Sharif group who ‘held and possessed’ the laundered proceeds on behalf of the principal accused, are found guilty of facilitating money laundering. The three other co-accused of the Sharif group also actively facilitated the money laundering,” the agency said.

Quoting the FIA report, Dawn's report stated, the benami accounts, which had deposits totalling Rs16.3bn, were not declared by the principal accused.

“The onus of proving pecuniary resources disproportionate to known sources of income and acquired ostensibly through improper means, lies on public servants,” it said.

“Shehbaz Sharif, then CM of Punjab and Hamza, then an MNA, were given ample opportunities during investigation to explain the same. However, due to their persistent evasive attitude and total non-cooperation, they missed the opportunities.

“The exact role and guilt of Suleman will be determined upon his arrest/surrender, but the evidence suggests that he aided and abetted his brother Hamza and thus found guilty of same offence.”

Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza have secured pre-arrest bail in the case till Dec 16.

PML-N’s information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb in a press release accused the Imran Khan-led government of trying to send Shehbaz Sharif to jail.