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Three new NAB references against political leaders, former govt officials approved

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  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Three new NAB references against political leaders, former govt officials approved


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    (L-R) Former prime minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz, and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. Combination


    ISLAMABAD: The filing of three new corruption references against several prominent Opposition leaders and former government officials, including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and his sons, Hamza and Salman, were approved Tuesday by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairperson Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

    A spokesperson for the NAB said the first reference was approved against Shehbaz Sharif, Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz, and Salman Shehbaz, among others, over the alleged accumulation of assets beyond means to the tune of Rs7.328 billion.

    "For the said assets, the accused persons laundered disproportionate funds under foreign remittances and loans — that had been proved fake," said the spokesperson.

    "The accused were also operating benami companies held in the name of their employees or associates to place the proceeds of crimes for their benefits," he said.

    The second reference has been approved against officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others regarding corruption and corrupt practices in the sale of the Pakistani embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    Between 2001 and 2002, the then-ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia Major General (retd) Syed Mustafa Anwar Hussain had sold the building of the Pakistan embassy in Jakarta at "a throwaway price through a non-transparent procedure and without lawful authority", according to the spokesperson.

    The accused thereby caused a loss of $1.32 million to the national exchequer.

    Similarly, a supplementary reference was approved against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his son, Abdullah, PML-N leader Miftah Ismail, ex-chairperson of the SSGC Board, former EETPL CEO and PSO MD Sheikh Imran ul Haq, former PQA chairperson Agha Jan Akhtar, former OGRA chairpersons Saeed Ahmed Khan and Uzma Adil Khan, ex-member Oil of OGRA Aamir Naseem, ex-PSO MD Shahid M Islam, as well as Engro Corp chairperson Husain Dawood and its director Abdul Samad Dawood, among others.

    The allegation states that the accused, through a non-transparent process, awarded the LNG Terminal-1 contract.

    The accused public officeholders misused their authorities in active connivance with each other to give wrongful gains of Rs14.146 billion to EETL/ETPL/ECL in connection with LNG Terminal-1 of EETL and also caused a wrongful loss of Rs7.438 billion, approximately, for non-utilisation of unused capacity of second LNG Terminal of PGPL from March 2015 to September 2019.

    Hence, the total liability amounts to Rs21.584 billion, approximately, till September 2019.

    It is pertinent to mention here that further losses to be incurred for the next 10 years will amount to Rs47 billion, approximately, as the said contract will expire on March 2029.

    During the period, unexplained deposits of Rs1.426 billion were received in the accounts of Abdullah Abbasi and Rs1.294 billion were deposited in the bank accounts of Khaqan Abbasi during the period from 2013 to 2017, during which the above-said LNG terminal deal was struck.

    According to the reference, by concealing the origin of the aforementioned deposits and layering, the accused also committed the offence of money laundering.