Transparency International urges British regime to probe Sharifs real estate empire

  • British government should not allow the Sharifs to take refuge in England: NGO
Pakistan

LONDON – Global anti-corruption body, Transparency International, has requested the British government to investigate four properties former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif holds in London.

According to a press release issued after the Avenfiled verdict, the organisation stated an official probe needs to be launched by the Theresa May-led UK government into four estates held by Sharif in the upscale neighbourhood of British capital city.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO), which combats corruption around the world and prevents related criminal activities, has demanded the British government not allow the Sharifs to take refuge in England.

Avenfield reference verdict: Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Capt (r) Safdar sentenced to prison by accountability court

Transparency International has also demanded proceedings to seize any properties found to be obtained through corruption-related funds by the former ruling family of Pakistan.

Earlier on Friday, accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir handed a 10-year sentence and £8 million (Rs1.29 billion) to former prime minister in a corruption reference pertaining to Sharif family’s Avenfield apartment in London, UK.

In the detailed decision, the court also sentenced Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, to seven years in jail for forgery and making assets through illegal sources in the landmark decision. She has been ordered to pay a fine of £2 million (Rs320 million).

Moreover, the judge ordered to seal the property in question, suggesting the government to do legislation to bring plundered money back to the country.

Capt (r) Safdar Awan, who is the son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, was jailed for one year for cheating. Following the verdict, Maryam and Safdar stand barred from contesting the July general election from Lahore and Mansehra, respectively.

Will return Pakistan soon, says Nawaz Sharif after Avenfield reference verdict

The Avenfield properties reference was one of three filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict against Nawaz in the Panama Papers case. The reference pertained to the ownership of the Sharif family’s apartments at Avenfield House, London.

Nawaz’s sons Hassan and Hussain who had been absconding in the case were declared as “proclaimed offenders” and the court has now issued perpetual warrants of arrest against them.

The court also ruled that the Avenfield apartments of the Sharif family, in their possession since 1993, shall be seized by the federal government.