NAB prepares four references against Sharif family, Ishaq Dar

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) offices in Lahore and Rawalpindi have prepared references against members of the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, requesting their assets be frozen and their names placed on the Exit Control List, NAB sources told DawnNews.

The references ─ two of which were prepared in Lahore and two in Rawalpindi ─ were forwarded to the NAB Executive Board on Friday for approval along with an investigative report and supporting documents, the source said.

Three of the references which are against the Sharif family ─ including former premier Nawaz Sharif, his children Hassan, Hussain and Maryam, and his son-in-law Capt Safdar ─ are related to 16 offshore companies, Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Establishment, and the Avenfield flats in London, according to the sources.

The reference against Ishaq Dar is related to possession of assets beyond means.

If the NAB Executive Board gives the green light for the references, they will be submitted to a NAB accountability court later this month, the sources said.

A NAB official earlier told Dawn that the apex court had set the NAB a deadline for Sept 11, and the Bureau was expected to file the references in an accountability court in Islamabad in the second week of September.

On July 28, a five-judge larger bench of the SC disqualified Nawaz Sharif from public office under Article 62(1)( f) of the Constitution and ordered NAB to file four references in a Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks on the basis of a report created by the Panamagate case Joint Investigation Team “and such other material as may be available with the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) and NAB”.

NAB subsequently summoned various members of the Sharif family to record their statement under the SC order multiple times, but none appeared before the body.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who was appointed the role of supervisory judge by the SC, allowed NAB to then quiz members of the JIT. At least three members of the JIT headed by FIA Additional Director Wajid Zia were summoned by NAB this week in Lahore to record their statements about their investigation into the Panama Papers case.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reportedly submitted the Sharif family and Dar’s tax return data from the last 20 years to NAB, whereas the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have handed over records of the bank accounts of the Sharif family and its companies to the NAB.

The SECP has also handed over the records of seven companies owned by Dar and his family members to the anti-corruption watchdog.

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