Panama Papers case: JIT finds massive increase in Nawaz Sharif, family's wealth
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is probing Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family’s financial history in the Panama Papers probe, has found a “significant disparity” between their declared wealth and known sources of income. This massive increase has been noted to have happened during the year 1992-93 when Sharif was the Prime Minister of the country. The JIT in its report had found Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz guilty of financial irregularities including tax evasion. However, Sharif termed the report as ‘baseless’.
The six-member panel of the JIT, in the 9th Volume of its 256-page report, said the wealth of the fortunes of Sharif’s father, late Mian Muhammad Sharif, had multiplied 4.3 times from Rs 7.53 million to Rs 32.15 million, but his source of income is not commensurate with the increase in his assets.
According to a partial copy released, the report said, “There exists a significant disparity between the wealth declared by the respondents and the means through which the respondents had generated income from known or declared sources.”
The Supreme Court of Pakistan will be examining the JIT report on the Panama Papers case on Monday. The court had ordered the JIT investigation into Panama case, in which the Sharif children were embroiled, in April to look into the murky offshore dealings of the family.
The Pakistan PM has faced corruption allegations since coming to power in parliamentary elections in 2013.
JIT has also accused Maryam, Sharif’s daughter and his likely political successor of handing over forged, false documents to the investigators. She was caught because of the Calibri font used in the documents which did not become publicly available until well after 2006, the year of which the documents were purportedly dated. The report also said that Maryam had been a part of the family business since she was a student and possessed assets worth Rs 1.47 million since 1991-92 and started filing tax returns. She also owned assets worth millions of rupees though she didn’t have a visible source of income. Her assets grew 21 times in 1992-93 from Rs 1.47 million to Rs 30.5 million without any declared income, according to The Express Tribune.
The JIT report also said that despite having least source of income, the wealth of Hussain Nawaz increased 10 times from Rs 3.3 million to Rs 33.63 million in 1992-93. Also, Sharif’s second son Hassan Nawaz owned assets worth of Rs 2.4 million in 1991-92 which increased by 13.14 times to Rs 31.55 million in 1992-93.