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December 3, 2019

NAB’s move to freeze Sharifs’ assets challenged

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December 3, 2019

LAHORE: The NAB move to freeze the assets of the Al Arabia Sugar Mills owned by Hamza Shahbaz and his brother Suleman Shahbaz has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

The National Accountability Bureau chairman, the NAB DG, investigation officer and others have been made respondents in the petition. The NAB Lahore had frozen the Al-Arabia Sugar Mills in an assets beyond means case in November. The petition filed by Sharifs said an inquiry against Shahbaz Sharif, Suleman Shahbaz and others is pending. The NAB chairman has been delegated semi-judicial powers, while the chairman’s powers are being used by the NAB Lahore director general, which is not permissible under the law, the petitioner argued. The petitioner said shareholders, directors and NAB suspects have no concern with the assets as the company enjoys a separate legal entity. According to Section 41-B of the NAB Act, a reference cannot be filed unless the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) conducts an inquiry. The monitoring officer appointed by the NAB in the company of the petitioner is illegal. The petitioner prayed to the court that it should stop the NAB chairman and others from interference in the matters of the company besides setting aside the November 25, 2019 NAB decision.

The director NAB Lahore had issued orders to freeze the assets of 10 industries of the Sharif family in a reference pertaining to assets beyond known sources of income. Chiniot Energy Limited, Ramzan Energy, Sharif Dairy, Crystal Plastic Industry, Al Arabia Sugar Mill, Sharif Milk Products, Sharif Feed Mills, Ramzan Sugar Mills and Sharif Poultry are among these industries.

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