Court orders FIA not to harass Shehbaz

Extends father-son duo interim bail in money laundering case till August 2

Our Correspondent July 10, 2021

A district and sessions court in Lahore has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) not to harass National Assembly Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz during interrogation in connection with its probe into a Rs25 billion money laundering case.

The court issued this order on Saturday while hearing Shehbaz’s and Hamza’s applications to extend their pre-arrest interim bails in the case.

A five-member team, led by FIA Punjab Zone-1 Director Dr Rizwan, quizzed the PML-N president at the agency’s Lahore office on June 22 and during the hearing on Saturday, Shehbaz – who was present in the courtroom – alleged that the FIA officials had misbehaved with him during interrogation.

“The FIA official misbehaved with me. They spoke to me in an inappropriate manner. When I rose to my feet [in protest] and asked them why they were treating me like this, they laughed loudly in my face in order to poke fun at me,” Shehbaz told the judge.

The PML-N president said the FIA is probing the same allegations which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had probed earlier.

He rejected the allegations that he had committed wrongdoing, saying that during his tenure as Punjab chief minister, the sugar mills owned by his family had suffered a loss of billions of rupees as he ensured provision of sugar at lower prices to provide relief to the poor and widows.

“[Due to my people-friendly policies] I also had to face opposition from my family,” he added.

The judge while ordering the FIA not to harass Shehbaz and Hamza extended their interim bails in the case till August 2. Earlier, the FIA’s investigation officer told the court that the interrogation of Shehbaz and Hamza had not been completed and the agency had issued them notices for not joining the investigation.

Read more: FIA team quizzes Shehbaz Sharif

The FIA accuses Shehbaz Sharif and his family members of laundering about Rs25 billion using the bank accounts of employees working for the Ramzan Sugar Mills and the Al-Arabia Sugar Mills – companies owned by the family.

According to the FIA, Shehbaz and his family members laundered money using 20 bank accounts of peons, clerks, cashiers and warehouse managers employed in the sugar mills.

About Rs2.70 billion were laundered through the bank account of a peon, Maqsood, and about Rs2.80 billion were laundered through the bank account of another employee, Haji Naeem.

It claimed that about Rs2.5 billion were laundered in the name of another employee working as a driver whereas about Rs1.75 billion were laundered through the bank account of another peon, Aslam. The FIA alleged that about Rs4.5 billion were laundered using accounts of clerks Azhar and Ghulam Shabir Hayat.

The bank accounts of a number of other employees – Qaiser Abbas, Akbar, Iqrar, Anwar, Yaseen, Ghazanfar, Tauqeer, Zafar Iqbal, Kashif Majeed and Masroor Anwar – were also used, the FIA added.

The FIA accused the chief financial officer of the Sharif Group of Companies of supervising all the money laundering. It said Shehbaz Sharif’s camp office was used to collect the money and sacks full of currency notes were delivered to the office of his son Suleman Shehbaz under police protocol.

All that money was later sent abroad by hawala and hundi, the FIA alleged.

Shehbaz lambast govt

In a statement, Shehbaz said the PTI government is offering amnesty schemes for the rich and powerful but its treatment of the weakest segments of societies is cruel as the poor are bearing the brunt of its policies that have increased inflation by over 15% in just one year.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read