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Nawaz Sharif Faces Probe for Laundering $4.9 Billion to India, World Bank Denies Reports

According to reports, the amount was laundered to the Indian finance ministry after which Indian foreign exchange reserves witnessed an increase and Pakistan suffered as a result.

PTI

Updated:May 8, 2018, 11:40 PM IST
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Nawaz Sharif Faces Probe for Laundering $4.9 Billion to India, World Bank Denies Reports
File image of Nawaz Sharif. (Photo by Sonu Mehta via Getty Images)
Islamabad: In further trouble to Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's top anti-corruption body on Tuesday ordered a probe against the embattled former prime minister and others for allegedly laundering USD 4.9 billion to India, media reports said.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a press release said its Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal took notice of reports making rounds on news channels claiming that Sharif allegedly laundered USD 4.9 billion to India, the Express Tribune reported.

According to the media report, this incident is mentioned in the World Bank's Migration and Remittance Book 2016, the release said. The statement claims that the amount was laundered to the Indian finance ministry after which Indian foreign exchange reserves witnessed an increase and Pakistan suffered as a result.

The World Bank, however, has described as incorrect media reports in Pakistan about allegations that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif laundered USD 4.9 billion to India.

"The media reports in Pakistan had cited the World Bank's Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports were incorrect," the World Bank said in a statement.

The World Bank's Remittances and Migration Report is an effort by the World Bank to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world, it said.

The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals, said the World Bank, which was issued after media reports cited its annual report for allegations that Sharif laundered USD 4.9 billion from Pakistan to India.

Sharif is facing three corruption cases at the accountability court following the Supreme Court's verdict in the Panama Papers case. A NAB inquiry is also under way against him for alleged illegal expansion of a road leading to his estate in Lahore's Jati Umra locality.

Once formulated, this will be the fifth case against the ousted premier by the NAB.
Earlier today, the accountability court sought more time from the top court to end the trial on references filed by the NAB against members of the Sharif family.

Accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir, who presides over the hearings, has written a letter to the top court requesting for a second extension in the trial. Earlier in March, the Supreme Court had granted a two-month extension to the accountability court to wrap the proceedings.

However, as the two-month deadline expires, the case is nowhere near its end, with the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments still untouched, the country's top anti-graft body is running out of time.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan had disqualified Sharif last year, forcing the three-time prime minister to resign. Sharif has dismissed the corruption charges as politically motivated.

The political future of Sharif, who leads the country's most powerful political family and his party, has been hanging in the balance since then. If convicted, he can be jailed.

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