A special team of Pakistan’s anti- corruption watchdog has arrived in the UK to probe the offshore assets of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal, a media report said today.
The team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) includes members of the combined investigation team that had prepared four corruption and money laundering cases against Sharif’s family and one case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for having assets beyond his known sources of income, Dawn News reported.
The cases were registered weeks after the Supreme Court disqualified 67-year Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.
“During its stay [in London] the team will contact the UK authorities to seek a reply to its queries regarding the Sharif family’s Avenfield properties. Besides, it will reach out to some important witnesses to record their statements ahead of the indictment of the Sharif family members,” an official with the NAB was quoted as saying by the paper.
Before the team arrived in London, NAB authorities wrote a letter to British authorities and appealed for cooperation in the investigation.
The posh Avenfield flats of Sharif’s family reverberated during the hearing of the Panama papers case and the team is likely to collect more information about its ownership as well.
Sharif is still in London with his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz. According to Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, the PML-N president would be arriving back in the country soon.
An accountability court in Islamabad indicted 67-year- old Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Captain Mohammad Safdar in the London properties reference.
NAB has initiated the process of declaring Sharif’s sons proclaimed offenders on the order of the accountability court.
They have been given a deadline of November 10 to appear before the court in the graft cases, otherwise they will be declared proclaimed offenders and the process of issuing red warrants for them will begin.