Daily Mail reveals another corruption scandal of Shehbaz Sharif

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Daily Mail reveals another corruption scandal of Shehbaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Britain based publication Daily Mail has revealed another corruption scandal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.
“After winning election on a pledge to combat corruption, Imran Khan set up a special team to deal with it, the Asset Recovery Unit, headed by a UK-educated barrister. They have examined a series of suspicious transactions running to many millions and shown that Shehbaz’s family’s assets grew enormously during the years he was in power,” the report stated.
“A confidential investigation report, seen by Daily Mail, 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, Shehbaz owns a 53,000 sq ft palace in Lahore, which has its own large security force.”
According to the report, 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 Shehbaz’s children, his wife and his son-in-law Ali Imran. But it adds that Shehbaz ‘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.’
One of the most audacious schemes was said to be focused on Birmingham. The report lists 202 ‘personal remittances’ from the UK and the United Arab Emirates into the bank accounts of Shehbaz’s wife, two sons and two daughters.
The Daily Mail claimed that it can reveal legal documents alleging that Shehbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from a fund established to rebuild the lives of earthquake victims – to which Department for International Development (DFID) gave £54 million from UK taxpayers.
“Investigators have launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes to give poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families,” the report said.
Stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shehbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC, it added.
Self-confessed Birmingham money-launderer Aftab Mehmood told the MoS that he had his accounts audited every three months by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – who failed to notice anything was amiss, the report said.
The Daily Mail stated that Britain’s National Crime Agency is working closely with Pakistani investigators and Home Secretary Sajid Javid is discussing the possible extradition of members of Shehbaz’s family who have taken refuge in London.
Meanwhile, aware of how widespread corruption is in Pakistan, the DFID has been running a £1.75 million project designed to ‘reduce the exposure to fraud and corruption’ of UK aid. But although it says it is already vigilant, DFID admits that, to date, it has referred just one individual to the Pakistani authorities for trying to steal UK funds.

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