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NAB Prosecution Acknowledges Oversight in £190m Corruption Case

NAB Prosecution Acknowledges Oversight in £190m Corruption Case

ISLAMABAD: During proceedings on the £190 million corruption reference, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecution acknowledged before the Islamabad High Court that the order from the National Crimes Agency (NCA), which seized the funds sent by property magnate Malik Riaz, was not officially documented in the judicial records.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahan­giri presided over the hearing on the bail petitions of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. Special Prosecutor Amjad Pervaiz, arguing on behalf of NAB, addressed queries from Justice Jahangiri regarding the procurement of the certified copy that froze Mr. Riaz’s assets. Pervaiz admitted they had not obtained the certified order.

Responding to further questioning about the documentation related to unfreezing the funds, Pervaiz stated that while there was no certified order, detailed documents from the UK provided comprehensive information on the case.

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Pervaiz outlined the establishment of the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) under the previous PTI government, overseen by then adviser on accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar. The ARU, directly reporting to the Prime Minister, initiated communication with the NCA regarding money laundering allegations against Malik Riaz.

Pervaiz mentioned the involvement of Bahria Town in land transactions, including a hefty fine imposed by the Supreme Court, and the subsequent transfer of funds to the Sindh government. He highlighted the establishment of the Al-Qadir Trust and its relation to land deals involving Bahria Town.

Regarding the freezing of Mr. Riaz’s assets by the NCA, Pervaiz stated the transaction was flagged as suspicious, with allegations of illegal facilitation by the accused parties. He further noted that a confidential deed was prepared by Mirza Shahzad Akbar to unfreeze the funds, approved by the federal cabinet without disclosing its contents. Justice Jahangiri sought clarification on the reasons behind the NCA’s action to freeze the assets, to which Pervaiz reiterated the suspicion surrounding the transaction and alleged illegalities in facilitating the transfer to Mr. Riaz’s account.