Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family have amassed a vast property empire by cultivating millions into ‘London’s swankiest addresses’, a British newspaper claimed on Sunday.
The family owns many prime properties in the United Kingdom besides London’s Avenfield apartments, on which one of the references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is based, The Daily Mail reported.
“The family has made huge profits from other sites which have not figured in court – such as the swankiest address of all, at One Hyde Park Place, which Nawaz Sharif’s son Hassan sold for £43 million,” claimed the British daily.
“Untangling the web of the Sharifs’ British real estate portfolio is not easy. The properties are registered via a bewildering network of companies, trusts and bank accounts,” it added.
The report said that the deposed prime minister had “knocked four luxury flats together to make single mansion, now worth at least £7 million.” He has lived in the ‘Avenfield House’ when in London since 1993 and shares it with his two sons, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, and daughter Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar.
“The Avenfield flats, the prosecutors say, were bought with dirty money. They form just a fraction of a London property empire owned by Sharif’s family. And prosecutors believe the money used to bankroll it was dishonestly acquired by Nawaz Sharif during his three terms as prime minister,” the report added.
It said the family is also accused of using ‘dirty money’ to buy at least 21 properties besides the Avenfield flats in the United Kingdom, “most at equally grand Central London locations, in Mayfair, Chelsea and Belgravia.
“The total value of the properties is estimated at at least £32 million.”
Accused of money-laundering, the family is facing several corruption references filed by the NAB for the past several months.
Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as a result of the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 verdict. He was also barred from heading his own faction of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) earlier this year.
Sharif’s main political rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan also referred to the article on Twitter, alleging that the former ruling family looted and laundered the nation’s wealth.
The PML-N, however, strongly dismissed the report calling it “unfortunate and against set rules of journalistic impartiality”.
In a statement, party’s spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the British daily has attempted to influence the ongoing trial in Pakistan by giving it an specific angle.
Publishing the news story at this juncture is an attempt to deprive the former PM and his family of their fundamental right of self defence, she added.