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NAB tells court it arrested Sharif Group’s CFO on ‘solid evidence’

NAB tells court it arrested Sharif Group’s CFO on ‘solid evidence’

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said it arrested Mohammad Usman, the Chief Financial Officer of the Sharif Group of Companies, over alleged evidence and in light of witnesses’ statements relating to money laundering activities.

The remarks were made by NAB Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua during the hearing of a plea on Monday filed by Usman.

The NAB prosecutor told the court that the CFO had been arrested based on statements of suspects who were arrested previously on money laundering charges.

“Mohammad Usman used to launder money for the Sharif family,” the prosecutor told the court.

To this, the court asked Janjua if the suspect had been told on what grounds he had been arrested. To this, the NAB prosecutor said that the reasons were properly conveyed.

When the court asked Usman regarding his arrest, the suspect said that he was travelling on Multan Road two days ago, when his arrest was made.

“The NAB officials told me the reasons behind [my] arrest last night,” he told the court.

He further appealed to the court that he is a patient of high blood pressure and should be allowed home-cooked meals.

Usman’s lawyer, however, told the court that his client was arrested on a “political basis”.

“Mohammad Usman is a chartered accountant and a very qualified individual,” the lawyer told the court, stressing that the arrest was not justified.

The court, after hearing the arguments, handed Usman over to NAB’s custody for 14 days on judicial remand.

In February this year, NAB teams had raided the offices of the Sharif family-owned businesses in Model Town to collect evidence on cases of money laundering and ‘benamidar’ accounts against former chief minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif.

Back then, NAB officials claimed they recovered important documents from the offices of Suleman Shahbaz, Shehbaz Sharif’s son, and Usman.

Last year in December, NAB had issued orders to freeze 23 pieces of property belonging to the former Punjab chief minister and his sons Hamza and Suleman Shehbaz over the allegation that they acquired assets beyond their means and were involved in laundering money.