There was no element of guilt in the case against business tycoon Malik Riaz. The case was of civil nature, said Special Assistant to the PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar while addressing a press conference on Thursday.
Akbar, who didn’t even name the tycoon in his presser, replied to a question about Malik Riaz’s case and said the settlement was part of an investigation into the businessman’s property in Hyde Park. The settlement agreed that the money will be transferred to Pakistan. “The money is coming back to Pakistan and it shows that the UK government has trusted us and immediately transferred the money. This is a success,” he added.
There are more cases of repatriation of funds and we hope they are solved too, Akbar said.
On December 3, the National Crime Agency agreed to a settlement of £190 million or Rs38 billion with Malik Riaz’s family. This money will be returned to the Pakistani government, the UK’s crime watchdog said in a press release.
The real estate tycoon and one of the biggest private sector employers in Pakistan, Malik Riaz was facing an investigation into his assets in the UK. The assets under discussion also include a UK property, located at 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH, and valued at approximately £50 million and all of the funds (cash) in the frozen accounts of the family.
“The assets will be returned to the State of Pakistan,” the NCA said referring to the settlement amount.
Akbar also levelled serious accusations against the Sharif family.
“I know the entire story of Shehbaz and his family. His assets have increased by 70% in the last 10 years,” he claimed. They have been using the names of innocent people to launder money, he remarked, adding that Shehbaz set up more than 30 companies through telegraphic transfers.
He identified three people who helped Shehbaz launder money: Nisar Gul, Ali Mahar and Tahir Naqvi. He claimed that these three people were running fake companies for Shehbaz. He went ahead and asked Shehbaz to answer the following questions: