LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency on Monday declared PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz as prime accused in Rs 16 bn money-laundering scams through accounts of sugar mills and their employees.
The FIA claimed that the father-son duo failed to provide a money trail of Rs16 bn and declared them as the principal accused in the challan submitted before a banking court. As per the challan, the FIA declared Suleman Shehbaz as proclaimed offender in this case along with two other accused including Malik Maqsood Ahmad and Sayed Tahir Naqvi. As many as 100 prosecution witnesses will record their testimony in this case as prescribed in the challan.
The challan further stated: “During inquiry No T34/2020 of FIA ACC Lahore, it revealed that total deposits amounting to over Rs16 billion (duration 2008-2018), were received in bank accounts of various low-wage employees of the Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd (RSML), Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Ltd (ASML) and accounts of fake companies set up and controlled by the Sharif Group.” “Rs3.7 billion in 20J6/l7 deposited in accounts of a peon namely Malik Maqsood working at the office of MD Suleman Shehbaz at Sharif Groups Corporate Office, Model Town Lahore,” revealed the FIA findings.
The findings revealed that “the low-wage employees of RSML/ASML admitted during the inquiry that these accounts were opened and operated for the personal/secret transactions of Suleman Shehbaz on the instructions of Muhammad Usman, CFO of Sharif Group.” “Mushtaq Cheeniwala has provided ‘secret-ledgers’ as proof to show that the money from undisclosed safe of sugar deposited into these accounts is only Rs3.95 billion implying therein that the source of remaining funds is ‘extraneous’ to the sugar business and can best be explained by Shehbaz Sharif and his sons and RSML/ASML officers who managed these accounts. Vouchers, cheques and money trails of deposits into these accounts have revealed that money was being deposited by various people at various affiliations, contractors, petroleum dealers, pharmaceutical vendors, flour and rice mills owners not related to the sugar business.”
The FIA claimed that the money received through such accounts and persons was received by Shehbaz Sharif or on his behalf. It further stated that during the probe, the father-son due failed to provide a money trail of Rs. 16b and refrained to answer questions.