After grilling the opposition leaders through unlawful arrest and detention (as declared by the Supreme Court), the NAB has aimed its guns at the Government’s allies and “Chaudhires of Gujrat” became the first target of the bureau in this connection. PML-Q top leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi have been accused of committing money laundering and hoarding illegal assets.
NAB submitted its reply to the Lahore High Court in relation with a joint petition of the Chaudhry brothers that had challenged three 20-year-old inquiries against them by the accountability and anti-corruption bureau.
According to the reply, an investigation was conducted against the petitioners which revealed that there was a notable surge of Rs2.556 billion in the wealth of Mr Hussain and his family between 1985 and 2018. Moreover, the shareholding also amplified to over Rs500 million that was around Rs2m in 1985. In addition, the properties worth more than Rs123m were added to Hussain’s family and Shafay Hussain and Salik Hussain (Ch. Shujaat’s sons) lent an amount of Rs1.5bn to their own companies.
Fake identities were used by the PML-Q leaders to receive foreign remittances, blamed NAB
The investigation further exposed that Ch. Shujaat Hussain had been receiving foreign remittances of over Rs581m through his bank accounts since 2004. NAB claimed that the investigation team included five people into the probe who had remitted money and they denied having sent any such remittance. It simply proved that the petitioner and his family used fake identities to receive the mysterious money from foreign countries to Pakistan.
For Mr Elahi, the report disclosed that the wealth of the petitioner and his family increased to Rs4.069bn from 1985 to 2018 while their shareholding rose up to Rs3bn from 1985 to 2019 and the family purchased properties worth over Rs250m.
It blamed that Elahi’s family members had received foreign remittances of Rs978m through their bank accounts since 2004. It further said that three people, who had remitted the money, categorically denied having sent any remittance, which simply attested that fake identities were used to receive unjustified money from foreign countries to Pakistan.
NAB mentioned that several call-up notices had been issued to the petitioners to explain their narrative about the assets in question but no satisfactory answers were submitted in this regard.
NAB alleged that Pervaiz Elahi made illegal appointments in the local government board when he was CM-Punjab
The reply also stated that in another inquiry, Mr Pervez Elahi was found responsible for making illegal appointments in the local government board in the time when he was the Chief Minister of Punjab. The bureau clarified that the said inquiries were never directed for closure by the competent authority and the investigation was in progress in accordance with law. NAB urged the court to discharge the petition of the PML-Q leaders.
Responding to the NAB’s reply, a spokesman for Chaudhry brothers blamed that NAB was being used for political engineering and the opening and closure of old cases against them was an evidence of this fact. The spokesman bashed NAB for being unable to disclose any asset that was acquired by Chaudhry brothers beyond the income. He further added that nothing was mentioned in the bureau’s reply about any corruption, inducements, misappropriation or misuse of powers.