‘Sharifs used sugar mill for money laundering’

PM’s aide says family also availed millions in subsidy without exporting the commodity


​ Our Correspondent August 07, 2019
. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday alleged that the Sharif family used Chaudhry Sugar Mills for money laundering and availed millions of rupees in subsidy without actually exporting sugar.

Addressing a news conference, Akbar said the sugar mill was set up in 1991 as an offshore company when Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister and the family had obtained a loan of $15 million from Bahrain to purchase its machinery.

“The mill was established even before the loan was released,” he added.

The prime minister’s aide said in the year 2008, the mill's shares were transferred to Maryam Nawaz, who later transferred around seven million of them to Yousaf Abbas Sharif in 2010.

“Yousaf Abbas transferred 11 million shares for Rs400 million to Nasir Lootah of the UAE in 2011 and 11 million shares to Hussain Nawaz in 2013,” he added.

“Hussain Nawaz then transferred his shares to Nawaz Sharif in 2014. They were then transferred to Yousaf Abbas Sharif and Abdul Aziz Abbas Sharif in 2016.”

Akbar said when approached, Nasir Lootah in a written statement before a magistrate denied possessing the shares of the mill at present or in the past.

“Nasir Lootah also claimed that he did not have any business connection with either the Chaudhry Sugar Mill or any other sugar mill in Pakistan,” he added.

“He [Nasir Lootah] became prosecution witness and claimed that members of the Sharif family had met him to hand over $500,000 for investment and the money was later returned to them.”

The prime minister’s aide said the money was transferred from Lootah’s account to Yousaf Abbas and later to the account of Chaudhry Sugar Mill.

“The Sharif family has actually also looted Naseer Lootah, who runs a real estate business in the UAE,” he maintained, adding that a bank telegraphic transfer of Rs4.88 million linked to Lootah was found.
Akbar said the loan money obtained for the sugar mill was transferred to the account while influencing public organisations.

“The Qazi family was also used for money laundering and efforts are under way to obtain the records of transactions with them. However, the role of the Qazi family is unclear yet,” he added.

“Many people are unaware of their shares in Chaudhry Sugar Mills. An investigation is under way to find out who the beneficiary owner of the mill is as those records are with the State Bank of Pakistan.”

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