An accountability court in Lahore on Friday summoned Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on August 27 over a reference pertaining to possession of assets beyond known sources of income and involvement in money laundering.
It also directed jail authorities to produce Shehbaz’s son and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and others — arrested in connection with case — before the court at the next hearing.
Other members of Shehbaz’s family, Suleman Shehbaz, Nusrat Shehbaz, Rabia Imran and Javeria Ali, have been directed to provide the court with a clarification on the charges against them.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has alleged that the entire family of the PML-N president — including his wife, two sons and two daughters — received millions of rupees from abroad through money laundering.
According to the anti-graft body’s report, the family received remittances mostly in US dollars equivalent to Rs1.59 billion.
Shehbaz’s wife Nusrat received $49,680 while his son Suleman Shehbaz received $2,06,996.
Hamza received the highest amount — $2,9 85,648 from 2005 to 2012. Shehbaz’s daughter Rabia Imran was remitted an amount of $740,680 while his other daughter, Javeria Ali, was remitted $283,357.
NAB maintained that the illegally accumulated assets were worth Rs85 billion to Rs100 billion and were bought during Shehbaz’s tenure as Punjab chief minister.
The anti-graft body probe found that Hamza’s declared assets in 2003 were worth less than Rs20 million, which increased by almost 2,000 per cent to over Rs410 million after his father became Punjab CM. Similarly, his younger brother Suleman Shehbaz’s personal wealth increased 8,500 times and he now has assets worth more than Rs3 billion.In June, Shehbaz while in NAB’s custody for the Ashiana Housing scam had recorded a statement that his son, Suleman, was looking after his financial matters.
In May this year, Shehbaz had appeared before a combined investigations team of NAB to answer its queries in the “assets beyond means” case.
The NAB team interrogated him at its Lahore Office for over two hours about his bank accounts, foreign transactions, properties allegedly owned by him and his family members and gifts given or received by him.
The anti-graft body has also decided to approach the National Crime Agency in UK and Interpol for Suleman’s extradition, as he had been declared a fugitive in the money laundering case against the Sharif family.
According to a NAB spokesperson, an accountability court in Lahore had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Suleman and declared him a proclaimed offender.
He added that NAB would request the National Crime Agency and Interpol to deport Suleman, who was in London, and provide all possible assistance to them for this purpose as per law.