By Raza Ruman
After Nawaz Sharif his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif will also be remembered as money launderer.
Although Shahbaz said he will file suit against The Mail for running a malicious story against him and his family members.
The PMLN said PM Imran Khan got the ‘fabricated story published through a British journalist who met with him in Banigala last year.
The Mail said former Punjab chief minister stole British foreign aid money.
The damning story written by investigative journalist David Rose and quoting investigators and a “confidential investigation report”, claims that the money “stolen” by Shahbaz Sharif between the 2005 earthquake and 2012, also came from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)-funded aid projects.
“For years he was feted as a Third World poster boy by Britain’s Department for International Development, which poured more than £500 million of UK taxpayers’ money into his province in the form of aid,” the Mail story said.
“All the time that DFID was heaping him and his government with praise and taxpayers’ cash, Shahbaz and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it in Britain. They are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from DFID-funded aid projects.”
DFID in its rebuttal said “The Mail has provided little substantial evidence to support its headline. Did the family of UK aid’s poster boy steal taxpayers’ cash meant for earthquake victims?’.The UK taxpayer got exactly what it paid for and helped the vulnerable victims of a devastating earthquake. We are confident our robust systems protected UK taxpayers from fraud.”
Naveed Ikram, frontman of Shahbaz son in law t Imran Ali Yousuf told the court that he had paid Rs130 million to Yousaf. Naveed had caused a Rs490 million loss to the national exchequer during his service in both companies.
“Naveed pleaded guilty and confessed last November to embezzling about £1.5 million from Erra during the period DFID was funding it, of which he passed on almost £1 million to Ali Imran.”
Interestingly the writer said. “The Mail was given “exclusive access” to some of the results of a high-level probe ordered by Prime Minister Imran.
“We were also able to interview key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood. He claims he laundered millions on behalf of Shahbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham – without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators, who inspected his books regularly,” says the report.
is still a money-launderers’ paradise. It’s .
“A confidential investigation report, seen by this newspaper, says the family was worth just £150,000 in 2003 but by 2018 their total assets had grown to about £200 million. Among other properties, Shahbaz owns a 53,000 sq ft palace in Lahore, which has its own large security force,” says the The Mail article.
Quoting the “confidential report”, the article says the “family’s legitimate income sources could not account for their riches. The money, the report says, was channelled from abroad – via several elaborate money-laundering schemes, in which Britain played a central role”.
“The report claims laundered payments were made to Shahbaz’s children, his wife and his son-in-law Ali Imran. But it adds that Shahbaz ‘was the principal beneficiary of this money-laundering enterprise, by way of spending, acquisition of properties and their expansion into palatial houses where he lived’.
It seems very difficult for Shahbaz to clear his name in this damning allegation of money laundering.
If Shahbaz fails to clear his name he will be known a top money launderer of Pakistan. Pak Destiny