Contrary to Shehzad’s claim, Shehbaz was centre of UK’s NCA probe

LONDON (NNI): Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has released documents related to a money laundering case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif after a request from Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) previously led by Shahzad Akbar.
The new documents pertaining to UK’s National Crime Agency investigation into money laundering case against PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif and his son in which the foreign agency absolved the duo of any wrongdoing also came to light on Wednesday.
According to the papers submitted by the NCA to a British court, the centre of investigation was Shehbaz Sharif. The NCA wrote in its papers that after conducting a thorough inquiry into the allegation levelled against Shehbaz, he was found innocent and the NCA closed all investigation against him. The agency also requested the court to end all investigation against Shehbaz Sharif.
The NCA court papers revealed that it conducted a probe against Shehbaz for two years and looked into his affairs in Pakistan, Dubai and Britain but it could find nothing. It made a thorough inquiry into the allegations levelled against Shehbaz and published in UK’s Daily Mail, but nothing could emerge, the papers revealed.
It is pertinent to mention here when the NCA declared Shehbaz innocent, then PM advisor on accountability Shehzad Akbar claimed that Shehbaz was not part of the investigation. However, the NCA court papers revealed that Shehbaz was the centre of investigation and it belied the claim of the ex-PM advisor. It justifies that Shehzad Akbar was removed from his office on account of his bad performance.
The scope of investigations against Shehbaz Sharif was extended up to 15 years.
According to the NCA court papers, three investigation agencies including NAB, ARU and FIA participated in the inquiry. All three of them provided all documents and extended full support in conducting and completing the investigation, the NCA papers divulged.
A British court has already rejected an appeal from Suleman Sharif to bar the release of the full case file of the money-laundering probe against the members of the Sharif family. The court directed the NCA to release the documents by February 08.
Previously, Shahzad Akbar rejected the impression of Shehbaz Sharif and his son’s acquittal in the money laundering case in London, adding that the order released by the UK court does not mention the acquittal.
Akbar said the reports about the alleged ‘acquittal’ of younger Sharif or his son Suleiman Shahbaz are incorrect and misreporting.
He said that the investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) against Suleiman Shahbaz and some of his family members was not initiated at the request of [Asset Recovery Unit] ARU or NAB, but Pakistan was contacted over the two suspicious transactions by the NCA.
Shahzad Akbar said the opposition leader is facing money laundering charges in Pakistani courts and the statements of the witnesses are being recorded.