PM Shehbaz, Hamza Shehbaz acquitted in money laundering case

Special Central Court on Wednesday acquitted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son and former Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz Sharif in money laundering case.

Special Central Court judge Ijaz Awan read out the reserved verdict.

It may be noted that in November 2020, FIA had booked Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza Shehbaz and Sulaiman Shehbaz under Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Section 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Sulaiman Shehbaz is in the UK and had been declared a fugitive.

14 other persons had also been named in this FIR under Section 5 (2) and 5 (3) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Shahbaz Sharif is accused of helping his sons Hamza Shahbaz and Sulaiman Shahbaz to accumulate wealth from their unknown sources of income.

On December 13, 2021, the FIA submitted a money laundering challan of Rs 16 billion against Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz and other accused in the banking court and named Days as the main accused.

The challan of 7 volumes submitted by FIA consists of more than 4 thousand pages in which a list of 100 witnesses was also submitted and it was said that 100 witnesses will appear against the accused.

It was stated in the challan that the investigation team traced 28 benami bank accounts which were created from 2008 to 2018 in the names of Shahbaz Sharif family servants, clerks in various banks in Lahore and Chiniot.

According to FIA, it analyzed the money trail of more than 17,000 credit transactions of Rs16 billion rupees in 28 benami accounts and huge amount of money was hidden in these accounts which are completely unrelated to the sugar business. which was offered to Shahbaz Sharif in a personal capacity.

It was stated in the challan that earlier Shehbaz Sharif (Chief Minister of Punjab 1998) was directly involved in money laundering of more than $5 million, he arranged overseas remittances (fake TT) to a Bahraini lady Sadiqa Syed. The name was done with the help of the then Federal Minister Ishaq Dar.

The FIA had said that this challan makes Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and Sulaiman Shehbaz the main accused while 14 benami account holders and 6 facilitators are made co-accused on the basis of the crime of aiding and abetting. It was stated in the challan that both Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz had held public positions from 2008 to 2018.