Ex PM Nawaz Sharif London properties may be seized and confiscated
ISLAMABAD: Ex Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif assets in London might get freezed and seized by the UK authorities.
Nawaz Sharif was found to be “no longer eligible to be an honest member of the parliament” by Pakistan’s supreme court, following revelations in the Panama Papers that he and his family had used anonymous offshore companies to purchase assets abroad, including four properties in Park Lane London.
The UK authorities must immediately work to establish whether the Sharif family still own those four properties, and consider seizure proceedings if this is found to be the case and these were purchased from the proceeds of crime.
These properties are still held by the two companies that the Panama Papers revealed to be owned by close relatives of Nawaz Sharif, however due to a lack of transparency over the true owners of offshore companies it is impossible to know whether the Sharif family still control these companies.
At the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016, the UK pledged to introduce a register of beneficial ownership of foreign companies that would reveal who truly owns the companies buying property in the UK.
According to the Government’s own timeline primary legislation for this should be introduced this year, but no commitment has yet been made to include this in the programme outlined in the Queen’s Speech.