Shehbaz denies link to sugar mill

Court extends pre-arrest bails of PML-N president, his son

Our Correspondent September 26, 2021


PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday told a banking court that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials were lying as he was in no way linked to the Ramzan Sugar Mills -- in an alleged money laundering case of Rs25 billion.

Speaking in the court, the opposition leader in the National Assembly said he had never been a shareholder or a director of the sugar mill.

He added that he had told all these details to the officials while he was being interrogated in jail as well about the assets made by his father that he had later transferred to his children.

Shehbaz said he had already submitted answers to a questionnaire given to him by the FIA that was a “virtual photocopy” of the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) case against him.

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The PML-N leader went on to say that as the Punjab chief minister, he took steps that did not benefit the sugar mill and in doing so caused financial losses to his family.

The banking court judge directed Shehbaz and his son Hamza, the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, to completely cooperate in the investigation being carried out against them by the FIA.

The judge also extended their pre-arrest bails by October 8.

As the proceedings commenced, FIA Lahore Director Dr Mohammad Rizwan complained to the court that both Shehbaz and his son were not cooperating with the agency in the investigation so their bails be dismissed.

He argued that the FIA had started an inquiry on the basis of a fraud committed at large scale in the Ramzan Sugar Mills, adding that lower-cadre employees were used for the purpose of money laundering.

The FIA Lahore director maintained that there were 57 bank accounts in the name of 20 employees. “Money laundering over Rs10 billion was committed in Karachi through different bank accounts being operated by 13 people,” he added.

On this, Shehbaz expelled this impression, arguing it was regrettable that a senior officer was lying in a courtroom.

Shehbaz in his reply denied commenting on the five allegations levelled by the FIA, adding he would give a proper response after consulting the case with his counsel and legal team.

Read more Govt’s meetings won’t resolve issues: Shehbaz

Responding a little to the first FIA query about the evidence of Rs25 billion being deposited in low-wage employees of the mill, Shehbaz termed the FIR as a “concocted one”.

According to details, Shehbaz and his son and Hamza had filed bail pleas contending that the version of the FIA had nothing to do with reality.

They submitted that they had been implicated in forged case merely to humiliate them and the allegations levelled against them by the quarters concerned were “false and incorrect”.

They implored the court that the FIA had issued them a notice to join the investigation, while the truth was that NAB had already carried investigation on the same allegation of money laundering.

They added that they wanted to appear before the investigation team but they feared being arrested at the hands of FIA. They claimed that there were examples relating to their arrests when they had been summoned in a case of a different nature but arrested in another matter.
So they prayed the court to grant them pre-arrest bails.


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