SC Grills FBR Chairman Over Panamagate

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As the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Panamagate case resumed on Tuesday, the bench inquired into the investigative steps that were taken by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Board of Revenue after the matter surfaced last year.

Presenting himself before a five-member larger bench of the apex court, FBR Chairman Muhammad Irshad told the court that notices were issued to 343 individuals following the Panama Papers leaks.

“The owners of 39 companies are not Pakistani residents and 59 people denied ownership of offshore companies,” the chairman elaborated.

Irshad told the court that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hasan and Hussain Nawaz as well as his daughter Maryam had responded to the notices issued to them by the bureau in November 2016.

Elaborating on the responses of the premier’s children, the chairman told the court that Maryam had denied having property abroad and being the owner of any off-shore company.

The court asked whether her response mentioned that she was the trustee of four flats located in London’s upscale Park Lane neighbourhood. The chairman responded that she did not.

In the previous hearing of the case on Thursday, Advocate Salman Akram Raja, representing Hasan and Hussain Nawaz, told the apex court that the London flats had rested with Maryam for six months — between February and July 2006.

Raja told the court that a trust deed was executed between Maryam and Hussain in February 2006, following which she acted as a trustee for her brother.

Irshad also told the court that in a response submitted to the FBR, Hussain Nawaz had stated that he had resided in Saudi Arabia since 2000.

Responding to which, Justice Gulzar angrily asked the chairman if he had closed Hussain’s file after the premier’s son submitted his response.

Courtesy: Dawn News

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