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Hamza remanded in NAB custody for 14 days in money laundering case

Hamza remanded in NAB custody for 14 days in money laundering case

LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday granted National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with 14-day physical remand of Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz in assets beyond means and money laundering cases.

During the hearing, the anti-corruption watchdog told the accountability court that millions of dollars were transferred from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president’s account by those “who were not having legitimate passports”.

On June 11, the accountability watchdog had arrested Hamza in the aforementioned cases and shifted him to the bureau’s headquarter at Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore as the Lahore High Court (LHC) turned down his application for an extension in interim bail.

In the hearing on June 11, Salman Butt, the defense counsel, had argued that according to the NAB Ordinance, the bureau could not issue arrest warrants unless an inquiry over the matter was completed.

He had further stated that in this case, the investigation into money laundering case was still ongoing and his client was coordinating with the investigation team.

To which, Justice Naqvi had remarked that the judgment would be done according to the constitution, and justice would be ensured.

Moreover, the prosecutor had submitted complete details of assets of Shahbaz Sharif’s family members in the court with an argument that their assets were beyond their known sources of income.

“Billions of rupees were added to the assets of Shehbaz’s family, whereas Hamza couldn’t provide details of the sources of his income,” he added.

The bench was further told by NAB that in the year 2018, his assets were found to be worth Rs410 million, whereas he could not answer for his assets which are worth Rs380 million, and the money was laundered to Dubai and England, and 40 individuals were involved in the money laundering ring.

The court was also informed that the bureau had “already arrested two money exchangers, and that [out of the total 40] 38 individuals have not confessed [their crime] despite the fact that the amounts were transferred from their accounts”.

“Rs180 million were laundered and Hamza was unable to provide sources of the amount,” the prosecutor had concluded.