World Bank denies Sharif laundered money

Published: May 9, 2018
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: In a blow to the credibility of the anti-corruption watchdog, the World Bank on Tuesday rejected the claim that its two-year-old report on remittances levelled $4.9 billion money laundering allegations against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The local office of the Washington-based multilateral agency issued the press release hours after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) announced the launch of an inquiry against Sharif into money laundering allegations.

NAB on Tuesday spurred to action about two years after a private TV channel alleged that $4.9 billion was laundered from Pakistan to India in 2016.

NAB to investigate money laundering allegations against Nawaz

“In the past day, there have been media reports citing the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports are incorrect,” according to the World Bank.

It added that the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report was an effort to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world.

“The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals,” according to the WB handout.

The bank’s denial has served a serious blow to the credibility of NAB that took an extreme step of launching money laundering inquiry against Sharif without first verifying the facts.

The denial would also give a major boost to the beleaguered former prime minister who has been complaining against ‘witch-hunting’ by NAB and courts.

The former prime minister, who has been disqualified by the Supreme Court for concealing facts, is already facing NAB references in an accountability court.

However, an inquiry into money laundering allegations would have created serious problems for him amid global drive against money laundering and terror financing.

The allegations might also create problems for the country. The Financial Action Task Force has already decided to place Pakistan on a list of the countries that financially support terrorism, with effect from June.

The money laundering allegations against the then sitting prime minister would have further weakened Pakistan’s case in the eyes of the international community.

The media reports claimed that a record of $4.9 billion money laundering by Sharif existed in the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances book of 2016.

The reports further claimed that the injection of such an amount into India’s foreign reserves resulted in an increase in their resources for which Pakistan is still suffering.

But the World Bank stated that in this report the bank had estimated bilateral remittances between countries using the methodology summarised in the World Bank paper on South-South migration and remittances.

The NAB’s notice was more surprising given the fact that the Statue Bank of Pakistan has already rejected the allegations of $4.9 billion money laundering on September 21, 2016.

Accountability court requests SC for second extension in Sharif trial

In 2016, the direct remittances from Pakistan to India were less than $200,000.

A NAB press release says the corruption watchdog has decided to launch an investigation into ‘serious’ allegations of money laundering against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, taking notice of the money laundering allegations, has ordered an investigation against Sharif, it adds.

According to the press release, the chairman took notice of the reports on news channels claiming that Sharif laundered almost $ 5 billion to India.

Once formulated, this will be the fifth case against the ousted premier by NAB.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Muneer
    May 9, 2018 - 8:00AM

    Twisted heading.The World Bank only mentioned that 4.9 billion dollars were remitted to India from Pakistan in 2016.It is NAB which is carrying out an inquiry whether this remittance is a money laundering by Nawaz Sharif or otherwise as bilateral trade is not that huge. As a matter of fact inquiry of money laundering against Sharifs will help Pakistan case in FATF and not damage it’s reputation.Cover up of inquiry will certainly bring a bad name to the country.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    May 9, 2018 - 9:11AM

    That’s NAB for you. Either they are highly accomplished in turning a blind eye, or, when activated, they are on a wild goose chase to nowhere.Recommend

  • Gaz
    May 9, 2018 - 11:23AM

    So this newspaper said it was a report on a private TV channel. That’s a lie it was a report in the highly respected Wall Street Journal.Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Basit
    May 9, 2018 - 11:30AM

    Mr.Rsjouri , looks much worried about the action taken by the NAB Chairman to investigate the fact. Regarding Pakistani investment in Dubai matter already in place. What’s Moody interested in the with Nawaz Sheriff money laundering. Nation is well awareness both friendship on what ground. Take care of yourself don’t brother in Pakistan affirs.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    May 9, 2018 - 12:09PM

    Credibility and the word Pakistan don’t go together whether it is its software firm “Axact” or Banks run by Pakistanis “BCCI” or the annual fudging exercises by its Finance Ministers or the routine denials of terrorists not being on its soil and then being killed by Americans inside Pakistani territories. Pakistan doesn’t need credibility, it has denial insteadRecommend

  • Tasadiq
    May 9, 2018 - 12:29PM

    The World Bank will NOT find any corrupt including NS or AAZ guilty.
    Why – because they are their customers over the years. They borrow BIG Loans from World Bank on pretext of Loans for Pakistan, shift the money to their personal accounts and put the repayment bills onto Pakistan’s Exchequer.

    It is corrupt 3rd World Leaders that keep the World Bank in business. Therefore; why would World Bank bite the hands that feed it?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 9, 2018 - 12:48PM

    There are two reasons which take away credibility of this report : it is issued by the institution that wants Nawaz to become relevant and second, it is issued by a country that is ‘very’ friendly to our enemy. Recommend

  • Atif
    May 9, 2018 - 1:10PM

    All cases against NS are fabricated.Recommend

  • Anon
    May 9, 2018 - 1:49PM

    “The NAB’s notice was more surprising given the fact that the Statue Bank of Pakistan has already rejected the allegations of $4.9 billion money laundering on September 21, 2016.”

    Not surprising at all…. the Sharif’s quite famously control the State Bank through their appointments at the top. Anyone who goes against them is immediately removed!Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 9, 2018 - 2:01PM

    At the highest level a saying circulates ” we protect our own ” ……. and it is very true.Recommend

  • Ali
    May 10, 2018 - 9:49AM

    Our corrupt politicians are ‘prized’ customers of The World Bank… who are willing to sell the country to foreign financiers for their own gains… so why would World Bank want any investigation against them.
    Pakistan does not need world bank or IMF to tell them who to investigate and who not to. We can manage our affairs and corruption will be eliminated from Pakistan.. God willing. PEACE. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 11, 2018 - 1:06PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    As usual a stupid deduction from A very sensible action. You can’t help it Atiya. Recommend

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