A United Kingdom (UK) court has ordered to unfreeze Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his family’s bank accounts for lack of evidence of corruption and money laundering, reported Geo News.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) unfroze the bank accounts of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and those of his son, Suleman Shehbaz, on Monday.

The NCA had conducted a 17-month long probe in which it examined Shehbaz Sharif’s financial transactions over the past 20 years. It said that no evidence of money laundering or criminal activities against the PML-N president or his family was found.


The UK’s top anti-corruption agency filed a unilateral application before Judge Rimmer to declare that its two-year high-profile investigation in the jurisdictions of Pakistan, UK, and Dubai found no evidence of money laundering and criminal conduct on part of the two Sharifs who were investigated. 

The NCA had initiated the probe after Pakistan’s Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) had shared evidence with the UK crime agency.

After the Westminster Magistrates Court allowed the accounts to be frozen and issued a probe consent to the NCA on December 19, 2019, Suleman Shehbaz’s declared Barclays account, Shehbaz Sharif’s HBL UK and Barclays account were immediately probed, seized and monies were frozen.

Usually, anti-money laundering investigations go back only six years, but in this case, the NCA used its excessive powers and investigated Shehbaz Sharif and his son’s transactions dating back to around 20 years.

NCA’s investigators started the probe from the first flat that Shehbaz Sharif bought in 2004 on Edgware Road when he was in exile and asked him to produce evidence of the clean origin of the money, including mortgage payments, sources of proceeds in his accounts, salaries and dividends, and full proceeds of the property purchase in the UK bought during exile.

The NCA investigated Suleman Shehbaz’s Barclays account declared in Pakistan with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and looked into all transfers that were made from Pakistan after the State Bank of Pakistan’s approval. The NCA went through each receipt of transfers from the official money exchangers.

The court documents obtained by this correspondent from credible sources show that the NCA received a letter from the ARU on December 11, 2019, in which it levelled allegations of criminal conduct against Shehbaz Sharif and Suleman Shehbaz.

The government of Pakistan had requested the UK government to seize all assets and funds of Shehbaz Sharif and his family and asked them to return the same to Pakistan and extradite Suleman Shehbaz with his family.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that reports of Shehbaz Sharif being acquitted by the British court were incorrect, clarifying that neither had the ARU nor NAB requested the UK government to initiate a probe against the PML-N leader.

“[These transactions] were declared as a suspicious transaction by the UK authorities and the NCA secured an asset freezing order(AFO) from the court against these funds,” he tweeted.

“The news about the alleged acquittal of Shehbaz Sharif or his son Suleman run by one news channel is incorrect and misreporting. It was a result of a suspicious transaction reported by a bank to NCA. The investigation by the NCA against Suleman Shehbaz and some of his family members was not initiated at the request of Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) or National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” tweeted Akbar, who had been keeping a low profile for the last couple of months.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “The UK court’s decision has unequivocally exonerated Shehbaz Sharif and his family of all malicious and vexatious claims of corruption and money laundering by Imran Khan. The NCA conducted a 21-month global investigation spanning across a 20-year timeframe whilst overcoming unprecedented jurisdictional challenges.”

“Never in the history of Pakistan has such a public office-holder been subjected to global scrutiny and multi-jurisdictional probing. Imran Khan has been exposed as a charlatan, willing to malign and assassinate characters of honest public office-holders. False corruption narrative exposed as nothing more than a smokescreen and Imran Khan to be an unscrupulous ringmaster of a circus built on incompetence, deceit and stained by the indignation of the innocent and the poor,” she said.