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April 16, 2019

Hamza before NAB, will reappear today

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April 16, 2019

LAHORE: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly and a son of Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, appeared before the combined investigation team (CIT) of the National Accountability Bureau on Monday, and was grilled regarding the Ramzan Sugar Mills investigation for about two hours.

According to official sources, NAB is going to file a supplementary reference in this case and has summoned him (Hamza) for Tuesday (today) again. Meanwhile, NAB has withdrawn the call-up notices earlier sent to the wife and two daughters of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif for in-person appearance in assets beyond means and money-laundering cases.

The decision of withdrawing the notices was taken by NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal during his visit to Bureau’s Lahore offices. He directed the Lahore office to withdraw the notices and send questionnaires to Nusrat Shahbaz, wife of Shahbaz Sharif, and his two daughters -- Javeria Ali and Rabia Imran.

The NAB chairman also decided that he would personally monitor all cases against the Sharif family onwards. The NAB spokesperson, while commenting on Monday’s development, said that it’s not surrender. He said it’s a gesture that NAB respects the privacy and sanctity of women. As per call-up notices, Nusrat Shahbaz was asked to appear personally before NAB Lahore on April 17, whereas Rabia and Javeria were asked to appear on April 18 and 19, respectively.

NAB had directed the Sharif family women to provide sources, details and purpose of all foreign remittances, claimed and received by them. The bureau asked them to provide sources and funds for acquisition and increase in assets from 2008 to 2018. The details and sources of year-wise investment (equity and director’s loans) in all the companies and businesses had also been sought. Moreover, these women were also asked to provide details of gifts and salaries received since 2008, including the particulars of persons from and to whom gifts were received and given, and the companies from where the salaries were withdrawn.

Nusrat Shahbaz was asked to provide sources and funds for acquiring house No 96-H Model Town, 87-H Model Town Lahore and Nishat Lodge, Doonga Galli, Murree. Shahbaz’s daughter Rabia Imran is wife of Ali Imran Yousaf, who was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in August 2018. He is reportedly residing in London with Salman Shahbaz, the other son of Shahbaz Sharif, who is also wanted by NAB in investigations regarding money-laundering and assets beyond means cases.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, NAB has recovered over one billion rupees worth of properties and cash from former Punjab Power Development Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ikram Naveed, an aide of Shahbaz’s son-in-law Ali Imran Yousaf. The latter is a proclaimed offender in this case. NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal will hand over the cash and properties to the departments concerned on April 16 (today).

Ikram Naveed entered into a plea bargain with NAB after confessing to his corruption. The amount of properties was worth Rs500 million at that time. However, its worth increased with the passage of time and reached Rs1 billion till conclusion of the probe.

In November, 2018, former chief financial officer of Punjab Power Development Company Ikram Naveed was said to be a right-hand man of Ali Imran. The accused had confessed to embezzling Rs499.21 million in the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC), Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA). The accused had confessed to embezzling Rs208.34 million in the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), Rs233 million in PPDC and Rs37.2 million in PHA. The accused served the said companies for different periods of time. NAB sources disclosed that Ikram Naveed in his confessional statement revealed that he gave an illegal monetary benefit to Ali Imran worth Rs132 million.

According to exclusive documents available with The News, Ikram had bought three floors worth Rs132 million in Ali Trade Centre, owned by Ali Imran. Ikram, his wife Samina and son Farjad bought two complete commercial floors and a complete penthouse floor in the Ali Trade Centre. Interestingly, the accused directly transferred more than Rs60 million from the accounts of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to the accounts of Ali and Fatima Developers, owned by Ali Imran.

In that case, NAB had accused Ali Imran of receiving graft from Ikram Naveed. Ali Imran is also accused of getting appointed Ikram Naveed as the CEO PPDC. Before that, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had carried out an investigation against Ikram Naveed and Ali Imran in 2016. It declared Ikram Naveed guilty of embezzling Rs450 million.

The ACE, in its investigation, found that Ikram Naveed had purchased 19 properties in his and his family members’ names and unearthed his and his family members’ property worth over Rs1 billion. Later, in April, NAB arrested Ikram Naveed on the charges of corruption worth hundreds of millions.

Ikram Naveed and his family own properties in Gulberg Main Market Lahore, Al Hafeez Business Centre, Gulberg Arcade Main Market, Vogue Centre, Shama Apartments Ichhra, Agriculture land in Kahna and village Shahzad, apartments in Centaurus Islamabad, shops in Xinhua Mall Gulberg Lahore, apartments in Olyester Court Guru Manget Road, a commercial plaza near Firdous Market, cash investments in City Steel Mills and ARY apartments in Dubai.

The Saaf Pani Company had acquired office space in Ali Trade Centre after paying millions but the office space was never used by the company.

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