Rs42.9m transferred from HMS to Maryam’s account, claims PM’s aide


–Shahzad Akbar says has provided proof of telegraphic transfers to NAB


ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Friday said that around Rs42.9 million were transferred from Hill Metal Establishment (HME) in Saudi Arabia to the bank accounts of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on multiple occasions.

Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, the PM’s aide said that he had written to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with proof of several telegraphic transfers through which the money was sent to the PML-N leader’s accounts.

Sharing some documents with the media, Shahzad said that former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was the beneficiary of the 85 per cent declared profit of HME and a share of that profit was given to his daughter as a “gift”.

He said that Rs14 million had been transferred to Maryam’s MCB account in 2008, in which the purpose specified was ‘investment’; another TT for Rs19 million and one more in 2016 of Rs9.9 million from HME to her Habib Bank account in the bank’s Jati Umrah Sharif Education City branch.

Talking about the corruption references against the Sharif family, he said that they were being probed because they had failed to provide the money trail of the funds used for the establishment of Al-Azizia Steel Mills and HME in Saudi Arabia. He said that one important aspect of the investigation against the Sharif family in the said references which had not been probed by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) due to the lack of details had been the funds transferred to Maryam’s accounts.

PM’s aide said that he has now provided the documents to the anti-corruption watchdog. “These documents include a ‘Form R’, in which a beneficiary takes ownership of the funds being transferred to their account,” he said.

Shahzad further said that now it is up to NAB to determine whether there is a need for further investigation. “Any next step has to be taken by NAB as we have shared evidence with them and hope that they will further investigate it,” he added.

He claimed that the laws formulated by the Sharifs in the 90s had facilitated money laundering, adding that those laws also facilitated unquestioned inflow of cash. “Everything had been working fine for them until the Panama Papers scandal in 2016 exposed their corruption,” he added.

The special assistant further alleged that 90 per cent of the wealth of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shehbaz was built on telegraphic transfers.