Information Minister Fawad Chuadhry on Sunday said assets of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif’s family in Pakistan were “just tip of the iceberg” as their real wealth was stashed abroad.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Chaudhry claimed that the opposition leader in the National Assembly plundered the nation’s wealth and stashed it in foreign countries.
When the investigation in ‘assets beyond means’ case initiated against Shehbaz, the members of his family fled the country to escape the investigation, the minister added.
“$26 million were transferred into the Sharif family accounts from unknown sources through telegraphic transfer (TT),” said Fawad Chaudhry, adding that the family of former Punjab chief minister accumulated most of its assets using TT, which he maintained was one of the methods used for money laundering.
The information minister claimed Shehbaz Sharif’s family did not have any known source of income in the country except Shehbaz’s salary while he was serving as the Punjab chief minister.
“The real beneficiary of this corruption was Shehbaz Sharif who bought several expensive properties in posh areas of Islamabad and Lahore for his wife,” said the information minister, adding that 72 persons had been identified for transferring money into bank accounts belonging to the former CM’s family and all of them were either fake or non-existent.
Sharif family hired services of the “economic hitman” who introduced various methods of money laundering through fictitious bank accounts in 1990s, said the minister in an apparent reference to former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
During the era of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Ishaq Dar turned “approver” against the Sharif family and confessed about their money laundering before a magistrate, which Chaudhry added was on the record.