One of the witnesses admitted before the Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that he opened and operated Benami, or factitious, bank accounts for money laundering on the direction of his uncle, who is a close friend of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The JIT, probing ruling Sharif family’s offshore assets and alleged corruption, claims that the PM and his family were the actual beneficiary of these fictitious accounts and fraudulent transactions.
During its probe, the JIT interrogated All Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Chairman Javed Kayani, who voluntarily admitted that in 1990s he opened factitious accounts for doing fraudulent transaction, acquiring loans and transferring money into foreign banks.
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He claimed that he opened these account on the direction of his maternal uncle Sheikh Saeed, who is close friend of PM Sharif. The six-member JIT in the second volume of its report has presented statements of the Sharif family members and others.
“Illegally circulated money in various fictitious/Benami and a few family accounts was used to acquire loan for Hudabiya Mills. Huge part of this money was transferred from Benami account of Salman Zia and others to Shamrock and other offshore companies,” the report says.
It finds that Phil Barry, a US national, acted as courier of Sheikh Saeed to bring unsigned Travellers Cheques from abroad, to get these changed into DBCs with his (Kayani’s) help and to deliver them at residence of Nawaz Sharif in Lahore’s Model Town area.
The JIT report observes that the shady role of Kayani in opening the fictitious accounts has been proved beyond doubt through available certified banking record and the PM and his family members are the real beneficiary of these fictitious and fraudulent transactions.
The probe team has also told the Supreme Court that the National Bank of Pakistan’s incumbent President Saeed Ahmad was also involved in fraudulent transactions in favour of the Sharif family. The team has recommended to the Supreme Court to include Ahmad’s name in the list of accused in Hudabiya Papers Mills case.
The team has informed the Supreme Court that names of Kayani and Saeed have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). It has also requested that their names may continue to remain on the list till a final decision by the apex court.