Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog has recommended freezing of assets and bank accounts of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, an official said today. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, has forwarded four cases against the Sharif family to its headquarters in Islamabad, proposing the steps against Sharif and his children. The NAB’s Lahore office has also proposed to confiscate all movable and immovable properties of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. “The NAB teams probing offshore properties and money laundering allegations against Nawaz Sharif and his children – Hasan, Husain, Maryam – his son-in-law Muhammad Safdar and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar today recommended to its (NAB) chief that their assets and bank accounts should be frozen,” a NAB official told PTI. He said the freezing of assets and banks accounts of the Sharif family members will be part of the four references against them to be filed next week in the accountability court. “We will plead before the accountability court to freeze the assets of the Sharif family members in the references against them,” the official said.
The four references to be filed against the Sharifs include their Avenfield Properties in London, Al-Azizia Company, other companies like Nescoll, Nielsen, F flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE, Dubai. The Supreme Court on July 28 disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children in connection with the Panama Papers scandal within six weeks. Sharif, his children and Dar refused to join NAB investigation despite summoned twice. They said they would not appear before NAB in these cases till decision on their review petitions against the July 28 verdict.
The references against the Sharifs would include the findings of the Joint Investigation Team constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the corruption and money laundering allegations on them. JIT chief Wajid Zia has also recorded his statement before the NAB. The State Bank of Pakistan and the Security of Exchange Commission of Pakistan had earlier handed over records of the Sharif family’s bank accounts and companies to NAB. The Federal Board of Revenue has also submitted tax returns data of Sharif, his family and Dar.