The National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday issued orders to freeze 23 pieces of property belonging to former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Suleman Shahbaz over the allegation that they acquired assets beyond their means and committed money laundering.
According to the accountability bureau, an investigation against Shahbaz, Hamza, Suleman and others for offence of “corruption and corrupt practices” revealed that Shahbaz had acquired properties in the name of his wives Nusrat Shahbaz Sharif and Tehmina Durrani.
The orders, signed by Director General NAB Lahore Shahzad Saleem, states that the evidence collected during the investigation so far has given the bureau reasonable ground to believe that the accused acquired assets beyond their known means of income and also committed money laundering. The DG NAB Lahore further said that the orders will remain in force for 15 days, during which time the bureau would file a reference in the accountability court.
Shahbaz’s properties include two houses in The Cooperative Model Town Society Ltd in Model Town and one bungalow in Nishat Lodges, Daunga Gali in Abbottabad was acquired in his wife Nusrat Shahbaz Sharif’s name.
A cottage, a villa, and a six marla plot in Khasra and two houses in Defence Housing Authority Phase V Lahore bought by the former opposition leader in the name of his second wife Tehmina Durrani.
Hamza and Suleman’s immovable properties include two plots in Chiniot’s Tehsil Bhowana, nine in MA Johar Town Lahore and four in Judicial Colony Phase 1 (extension).
The NAB order passed by DG NAB Lahore Shahzad Saleem brings the total number of immovable assets belonging to Shahbaz to eight while 15 immovable properties of Hamza and Suleman have been frozen.
The order cites an “investigation against Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Suleman Shahbaz and others for offence (s) of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under section 9(a) punishable under section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 read with section 3 of Anti-money laundering Act 2010.”
It adds that the evidence collected “so far” during the investigation presented “reasonable grounds” to “believe” that the accused have “committed aforementioned offences”.
The order will remain in force for a period of 15 days within which the anti-graft watchdog will file an application in the accountability court under section 12 of the NAO 1999.