Suleman submits reply to FIA in money-laundering 'scam'.

LAHORE -- Suleman Shehbaz, son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who last month returned from London after a four-year self-exile, on Friday submitted a reply to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) defending himself against the charges of laundering Rs16 billion in the sugar mills case.

'Suleman Shehbaz on Friday joined the investigation by the FIA anti-corruption cell in the FIR No 39/2020 related to the Ramzan Sugar Mills and benami accounts and submitted a reply in this regard. The hearing of the case will be held on Saturday (today),' said an FIA statement.

A couple of months ago, a special court of Lahore had acquitted the premier and his elder son, Hamza Shehbaz, in the case.

The FIA had booked Shehbaz and his two sons - Hamza and Suleman - in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with Section 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Suleman and another co-suspect had been declared proclaimed offenders by the court for their constant absence from proceedings. However, he secured a bail that enabled him to return to the country last month.

The FIA investigators had claimed to have detected 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family allegedly used for laundering Rs16.3bn during 2008-18. The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.

'The amount was kept in 'hidden accounts' and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity. This amount (Rs16bn) has nothing to do with the sugar business of the Shehbaz family. The...

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