30 September 2020
Shahbaz Sharif, leader of the opposition and President of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) , was arrested in a money laundering case involving $41.9 in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday. He was also accused of maintaining assets beyond known sources of income. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials took him into custody from the court premises after his bail plea was rejected by the high court.
He was arrested a week after the opposition parties launched an alliance to remove Imran Khan from office. The opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement, vowed earlier this month to launch a protest movement in the coming weeks demanding the government’s resignation.
Sharif is the younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted over corruption allegations in 2017 and is currently residing in Britain after being released from prison earlier this year for medical treatment. Shahbaz Sharif served as chief minister of Punjab from 2008 to 2018.
The Dawn newspaper reported that adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday said that Shahbaz and his sons Hamza and Salman were involved in money laundering through fake accounts, but Shahbaz always pretended to have nothing to do with their businesses. Akbar said the financial monitoring unit had detected 177 suspicious transactions of Shahbaz’ family after which NAB started a probe. He said the case comprised 55 volumes and 25,000 pages of documentary evidence against the Sharifs, including company records, bank statements and foreign remittances. NAB teams have identified 16 accused in the case, six family members and their 10 accomplices.
ThePrint India reported.