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FIA given last chance to submit challan against Shehbaz, Hamza


Money laundering case: FIA given last chance to submit challan against Shehbaz, Hamza

LAHORE: A banking court in Lahore Saturday extended the pre-arrest bails of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz till December 11 in a money laundering case.

At the outset of the hearing, Shehbaz told the court that he has “nothing to do with” Ramzan Sugar Mills as it was owned by his father.

“My children’s sugar mills suffered billions of losses because of me,” he added. The PMLN leader told the court that NAB was also hearing the same case.

Responding to his comments, the judge told Shehbaz that the bench has noted down his points.

Meanwhile, the banking court judge ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to present the incomplete challan against Shehbaz and others nominated in the money laundering case at the next hearing.

FIA will not be given any more time for submitting the challan against the suspects in the money laundering case, the judge remarked.

Later, the judge adjourned the hearing till December 11.

Reacting to a statement by Ataullah Tarar, legal adviser to Shehbaz and his son Hamza, in which he had claimed that the FIA has failed to collect evidence of even a single penny’s worth of corruption, the investigation agency termed it an attempt to mislead the public.

The public position taken by Tarar, that FIA has failed to collect evidence of corruption of even a single penny, is “totally frivolous” and an “attempt to mislead the public-at-large and therefore rebutted”, it said in a statement.

FIA Lahore said the mega-money laundering investigations against the Sharif Group are under way.

The sugar investigation team has “worked very diligently to unwind the financial matrix in this extremely complex case, which is very wide in its scope”, said the statement.

The FIA said that the investigation team has analysed the money-trail of “over 17,000 credit transactions worth over Rs16 billion that were sent to the bank accounts of peons and clerks of the Sharif Group (Sharif family) from 2008 to 2018”.

The team has found “indelible and incontrovertible documentary evidence regarding the direct involvement” of then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz in the affairs of the Sharif Group which was “used as Sharif’s vehicle for money-laundering”, the statement added.

Both then Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz were holding office as public servants, and are “fully accountable for the Rs16 billion acquired secretly in the names of their peons and clerks”, the FIA said.

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