Money laundering case: Bail rejected, Shahbaz Sharif arrested from court

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has rejected the bail pleas of former Punjab Chief Minister and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in a case of laundering assets and money laundering, after which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested him from the court premises.

Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider heard the case of assets in excess of income and money laundering against Shahbaz Sharif in the Supreme Court of the provincial capital Lahore. During the hearing, his lawyers Amjad Pervez and Azam Nazir Tarar appeared while Faisal Bukhari and Usman Rashid Cheema from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were present for arguments.

Besides, Shahbaz Sharif himself was present in the court in person while other PML-N leaders were also present.

When the hearing began, Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyers continued to present their arguments and presented a published report on the former chief minister’s performance in court.

Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyer Azam Nazir Tarar said that his client has not taken any TADA or salary till date, Shahbaz Sharif also saved Rs 81 billion in Orange Line train, besides PML-N in taxi project. The president made a net saving of Rs 40 crore.

According to the lawyer, Shahbaz Sharif saved the nation Rs 4 billion in the Safe City Cameras project.

At the same time, he took the position that a reference has been filed on the said matter, no arrest is made at this stage, the malice of the NAB in the said case is visible everywhere.

The lawyer in the court said that his client has saved the nation a total of more than one thousand billion rupees, so the NAB cases against him are baseless and false.

On this occasion, he was asked whether Shahbaz Sharif has been indicted in the accountability court, to which the lawyer replied that copies of the reference have been provided, the indictment is about to be indicted.

He said that local body elections were coming and the government wanted Shahbaz Sharif to go to jail.

During the hearing, Shahbaz Sharif, who was present in the court, said that he wanted to say something, to which Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem remarked that his lawyer had to give arguments and if there was anything left, he would tell it.

Continuing his arguments, Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyer said that his clients were already facing two references in the accountability court.

On this occasion, lawyer Amjad Pervez said that his client’s children are not under his care, the Supreme Court has explained in the Panama case in the matter of being under his care.

He said that Shahbaz Sharif’s wife has been a filer since 2004 while Salman Shahbaz and Hamza Shahbaz have been filers since 1996 and daughters Jawariya and Rabia have also been filers since 2007.

According to Amjad Pervez, there is not a single documentary evidence against Shahbaz Sharif in 58 volumes of NAB money laundering while according to the records of any institution including FBR, SECP, Revenue, Shahbaz Sharif is not anonymous.

Read more: On her birthday, Maryam Nawaz expelled Shahbaz Sharif from the party, Shahzad Akbar

He said that not a single person’s statement of 161 is available on the page. In the money laundering reference, NAB has made 4 promises as pardoned witnesses but none of them made a statement against Shahbaz Sharif.

Later, NAB lawyers Faisal Bukhari and Usman G. Rashid started giving arguments and said that on October 23, 2018, NAB started money laundering investigation against Shahbaz Sharif family.

NAB lawyer said that Shahbaz Sharif was first arrested in Ashiana case while on 14th February 2019 Shahbaz Sharif was granted bail in Ramzan Sugar Mill and Ashiana case, on 15th January 2019 Shahbaz Sharif’s name was recommended to be included in ECL. After which, on April 3, 2019, the money laundering inquiry was turned into an investigation.

He said that arrest warrants were issued for the co-accused along with Shahbaz Sharif on April 3.

The NAB counsel in the court said that the agency had started the investigation of money laundering while fulfilling the legal requirements while the FMU report revealed suspicious transactions.

He said that a reference has been filed in this case but still the detention of Shahbaz Sharif is necessary, we will satisfy the court as to why his detention is required.

According to the NAB lawyer, there are decisions of the high courts that arrests are made even after the reference is filed.

The NAB lawyer was of the view that the assets of Shahbaz Sharif were Rs 21 lakh in 1990 while now the assets of Shahbaz Sharif family have gone into billions and remittances of Rs 1.57 billion came from abroad.

He said that 177 fake TTs and 63 suspicious remittances were received by Shahbaz Sharif’s family while Shahbaz Sharif and his co-accused Mushtaq Cheeni got fake loan of Rs. 603 million.

The lawyer said that Shahbaz Sharif did not have such a long and wide business of his own, then where did this money come from, it is a different story that Shahbaz Sharif took flats abroad in exile.

He said that from 2008 to 2018, Shahbaz Sharif’s assets increased immensely, money from abroad used to go to the accounts of anonymous people and then to the accounts of Shahbaz Sharif and his family.

The lawyer said that once the TTI of Rs 49 lakh from which the customs duty of a car was paid, how the income of Shahbaz Sharif’s children came in billions, he did not have the answer, Shahbaz Sharif’s wife and sons TTs also came from abroad in name, his wife bought 96 H Model Town plot from TTs.

The NAB lawyer said that the IP came from abroad

Soon after, Shahbaz Sharif took his second wife Tehmina Durrani home in defense, in addition to Nisar Ahmed and Ali Ahmed’s accounts received a total of 23 TTs.

He said that accounts were opened in the name of 3 companies and money was coming to Shahbaz Sharif family from their accounts. Shahbaz Sharif did not say anything about his business, when he was registered and how much income he had.

The NAB counsel in the court said that Shahbaz Sharif has 4 apartments abroad but the PML-N president could not give any explanation about these apartments and where they were bought from.

He also said that Shahbaz Sharif also gave Rs 2 crore as a gift to Hamza Shahbaz.

Arguments were later completed by Shahbaz Sharif and NAB lawyers, after which the court rejected Shahbaz Sharif’s bail application in the money laundering case, on which NAB arrested Shahbaz Sharif.

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