LAHORE   -  The State Bank of Pakistan, on the request of National Accountability Bureau, has frozen all bank accounts of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his family members.

The move comes as the government intensifies clampdown on political leaders facing different inquiries on charges of corruption, money laundering, and misuse of authority.

A NAB official on Friday claimed that several leading banks were asked, through the central bank, to freeze all accounts of Shehbaz and his family. The official also said the banks are bound to put restrictions on alienation of property (bank accounts) of Shehbaz family since the anti-graft authority has been investigating a case of “assets beyond means” against the PML-N President. He further claimed that the bank accounts of Shehbaz family were frozen shortly after a letter was sent to the State Bank of Pakistan by Lahore NAB.

According to the letter (a copy of which is available with The Nation), the bank accounts of Shehbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza and Suleman and eight other close relatives were frozen on the request of the anti-corruption authority.

The letter titled “restriction on alienation of property (banks accounts)” is sent under section 23 of NAO 1999 as the authority launched investigation against Shehbaz and others for having assets disproportionate to known sources of income and money laundering.

“The competent authority has taken cognizance of offence (s) committed by the subject persons. During the course of investigation, it was revealed that the accused persons are maintaining following bank account(s) in your bank.”

“In this regard your attention is drawn to Section 23 of NAO, 1999 which says “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force after the Chairman NAB has initiated [an inquiry of] investigation into [any offence] under this Ordinance, alleged to have been committed by an accused person, or any relative or associate of [accused] person or any other person on his behalf, shall not transfer by any means whatsoever, [or] create charge  on any property owned by him or in his possession, while the inquiry, investigation or proceedings are pending before the NAB.”

Similarly, bank accounts of Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Nusrat Shehbaz, and Suleman Shehbaz, Rabia lmran, Imran Ali Yousaf, Ayesha Haroon, Nisar Ahmad and Maqsood & Company were frozen accordingly. The banks accounts of Mehr-un-Nisa Hamza and Ali Ahmad Khan were also frozen.

 

NAB summons Yousaf Abbas Sharif

 

The National Accountability Bureau on Friday also served call-up notice on Yousaf Abbas Sharif, the nephew of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and son of late Abbas Sharif. Yousaf Abbas has been directed by Lahore NAB to appear before the Combined Investigation Team on July 23 for recording of statement along with the relevant record.

According to the call-up notice, Yousaf Sharif has been summoned in connection with a probe related to Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. NAB sources say millions of rupees had been transferred in Sharif’s account through TT and the anti-graft authority had collected important evidence to prove the claims.

“The inquiry conducted so far has revealed that you (Yousaf Abbas) are a shareholder in M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM), since 1995 till date. In this context, you are required to provide your version on about all shareholders and their shareholdings in M/s CSM since 1995. All changes in shareholdings/sale/purchase of shares from 1995 till date.”

Yousaf Abbas has also been directed to provide details pertaining to sugar exported by M/s CSM since inception till date. “Specify the channel through which payment was received for exports including banking accounts wherein payment was received Country of Export. Quantity of Sugar Exported.”

He will also submit replies related to investments/loans given to M/S Shamim Sugar Mills Ltd, details of all Telegraphic Transfers (TTs) sent/received and break-up of loans (Rs800 million) “given by you to various entities as reported in your wealth statement.”

Earlier, Lahore NAB seized properties of Shehbaz Sharif, his wives Nusrat Shehbaz, Tehmina Durrani and son Hamza Shehbaz in a corruption probe related to assets beyond means and money laundering.

The properties seized by NAB included agricultural land in Haripur, two houses in Defence Housing Authority, two plots in Model Town and a house in Donga Gali. The anti-graft agency also seized Hamza Shehbaz’s nine plots in Johar Town and four plots in Judicial Colony. Shehbaz family’s shares in 14 mills and transfer of two Land Cruisers on Shehbaz’s name have also been stopped. The NAB had written letters to Lahore Development Authority, Excise, GDA, and DC Haripur to stop transfer or sale of assets.