Money-laundering case: LHC grants bail to approvers against Shehbaz family

LAHORE, Sep 24 (APP):A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday granted bail to Shahid Rafique and Aftab Mehmood, approvers against Shehbaz Sharif family in a money-laundering case.

The bench directed the approvers to submit two surety bonds of Rs 1 million each for availing the relief.

The bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem heard the bail petitions, filed by the approvers.

The petitioners’ counsel argued before the court that his clients had admitted that they facilitated Shehbaz Sharif family in whitening their black money. They also got recorded their confessional statements before a judicial magistrate in this regard, he added.

He submitted that they had been on judicial remand and their custody was no longer required by the bureau in the case. He pleaded with the court for granting post-arrest bail to them.

The NAB prosecutor submitted that Bureau chairman had accepted their application for pardon. He submitted that NAB did not have any objection, if the accused were released on bail in accordance with the law.

The bench, after hearing arguments of the parties, granted bail to both approvers and directed them for submission of surety bonds.

The Shehbaz family members are facing money-laundering charges in an investigation by NAB. Aftab Mehmood, in his statement, confessed that from 2008 to 2009, he made illegal telegraphic transfers (TTs) worth millions of dollars to Pakistan to benefit the Shehbaz family.

He said that Shahid Rafique used to collect cash against TTs from the Shehbaz family equivalent to amount sent by him to the accounts of the family. The other approver Shahid Rafique is a cousin of Aftab Mehmood.

Shahid Rafique also confessed in his statement that he was a franchise holder of Zarco Money Exchange and provided a channel to the family for whitening their black money, whereas fake identities were used for the purpose.

On April 20, the bureau had arrested both the accused. Mushtaq alias Chini, another approver in the case, had confessed that he facilitated Sulman Shehbaz, son of Shehbaz Sharif, in whitening Rs 600 million through fake TTs and loan agreements.

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