UK crime agency shares documents with NAB team

ISLAMABAD –  The National Crime Agency, UK, has shared documentary details regarding the Sharif family’s Avenfield property with a team of the National Accountability Bureau during its stay there, reliable sources told The Nation.

The two-member NAB team returned to Pakistan from the United Kingdom on Friday night after having detailed meetings with officials of the National Crime Agency and exchanging documents vis-à-vis the Avenfield corruption case against the Sharif family.

The NAB team also visited the UK Home Department and Pakistan High Commission in London, the sources said. They added the UK Home Department told the NAB team that Maryam Nawaz was also the beneficiary of the Avenfield property.

On December 10, NAB officers, Sultan Nazir and Imran Dogar, went to the UK to collect evidence against disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family in the Avenfield property case.

The sources said the bureau was in contact with the National Crime Agency and had sought details of the Sharif family’s Avenfield flats 16, 16-A, 17, 17-A, Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, under the mutual legal agreement. The sources said the NAB team was granted visas after receiving a positive response from the UK authorities in this regard.

The NAB investigators neither recorded statements of witnesses nor did they contact any member of the Sharif family despite the fact that Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were in London, the sources said.

A NAB official confirmed the NAB probe team had returned and might visit the UK again in this regard. The sources said the UK crime agency cooperated with the NAB team and assured it of helping the NAB in further investigation into the specific case. The NAB team is likely to contact Avenfield property owners, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, and other key witnesses to record their statements during its next visit, they said.

After the visit of the NAB team to the UK, Sharif and Maryam extended their stay in London and did not appear before the accountability court at the last hearing.

According to media reports, both Sharif and Maryam have got their air tickets booked for Pakistan and will land in the country today (Sunday) to appear before the accountability court on December 19.

The anti-graft body has filed four corruption references against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar related to their Avenfield property, Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Company and other companies, including Flagship Investments, Hartstone properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Sloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quaint Gloucester Place, Quaint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE, Dubai.

Earlier, Maryam said Hassan and Hussain will themselves decide whether or not to appear before the court in the three references filed against them by the NAB. “They are living abroad and Pakistani laws do not apply to them,” she added.

The Lahore NAB had recommended placing the names of Sharif’s sons, Hasan and Hussain, on the exit control list as both are absconders in the Avenfield property case.

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI

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