Action to be taken against Benami properties: Shahzad

Action to be taken against Benami properties: Shahzad

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar says action would soon be taken against “Benami” properties as per law of the land and the recovered money will be deposited to the national exchequer. 

He was addressing a press conference along with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi in Islamabad.

Shahzad Akbar said 32 “Benami” companies of Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Zardari have been identified and action will be taken in this case as per law of the land if he fails to produce documents proofing legality of such properties within 60 days. 

He said these “Benami” companies included sugar mills, cement factory, trading, construction, automobile manufacturing, holding and gas companies and consultant firms.

Shahzad Akbar said several “Benami” plots in posh areas of Karachi have also been identified.

He added that when in 2013-14, the State Bank of Pakistan had asked for paying of capital, they paid it in local account from fake companies.

He said so far four references were filed against him out of the expected 30 references.

Akbar said the government had started taking action in line with the Benami Act 2017, as earlier it was inactive due to absence of rules which now had been formulated by the government.

He said the government would soon start confiscating the properties of sons and son-in-laws of Sharif family who had been declared proclaimed offenders by the court.  Shahzad Akbar said for the first time a “Benami” bank was formed in the country for  money laundering.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi said the country’s wealth was shifted to abroad through money laundering causing a huge loss to the  national exchequer.

He said Asif Zardari had established sugar mills and other properties by threatening the people, adding Uzair Baloch had also accepted that Asif Zardari had made all the properties and assets by using his influence and threatening the people.

He further said an officer of Grade 16 or 17 at ERRA had occupied 16 properties illegally.

Zaidi said they would continue informing masses about the corruption in past and actions of the government to recover the country’s looted money.