Tuesday Apr 21, 2020
The National Accountability Bureau has warned Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif that it will take legal action against him if he fails to appear before the bureau on April 22 in a money laundering cases, reported The News on Tuesday.
The accountability bureau has directed the PML-N leader to appear on April 22 after he skipped out on his April 17 appearance.
On Monday, the Bureau issued a press release, warning the former Punjab chief minister that in case of non-cooperation, legal action will be taken against him. NAB claims that the said the probe is in its final phase and Shehbaz’s appearance before accountability watchdog's investigators is crucial in concluding the investigation.
NAB has reassured Shehbaz that all social distancing measures will be adopted and investigators will only ask questions related to alleged money laundering from a safe distance.
Earlier, the PML-N leader had skipped an appearance before the NAB in the money laundering investigations fearing that he would contract coronavirus as he was a 69-year old cancer survivor and medical professionals had advised him to restrict his movement due to life-threatening risks associated with the disease.
The anti-graft body in his summons had asked Shehbaz to provide details of properties inherited by the PML-N leader. NAB said that from 1998 to 2018, Shehbaz’s family assets grew from scratches to billions.
“As a public office holder, Shehbaz needs to explain the increase in his assets”, NAB said.
It also asked Shehbaz to submit bank details along with the loan taken from Barclays Bank from 2005 to 2007. Furthermore, NAB has also sought details of all the gifts received and given by the family, details of agriculture income from 2008 to 2019 and details about the utilisation of Shehbaz’s Model Town residence as Chief Minister’s camp house.
Last year in December, NAB had issued orders to freeze 23 properties belonging to the former chief minister and his sons Hamza and Salman over the allegation that they acquired assets beyond their means and committed money-laundering.
According to the accountability bureau, an investigation against Shehbaz, Hamza, Salman and others for the offence of “corruption and corrupt practices” had revealed that Shehbaz had acquired properties in the name of his wives Nusrat Shehbaz and Tehmina Durrani.
Among the properties frozen were nine plots in Lahore’s Johar Town, four in Judicial Colony, two houses in Model Town and as many houses in DHA. Furthermore, the Bureau has also frozen a cottage and a villa in Pir Sohawa and two more plots in Chiniot.
NAB concluded that Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Salman acquired assets beyond their known sources of income and allegedly committed money laundering.