Asia - pacific

Pakistan: Former minister detained in corruption probe

Former minister Saad Rafique, his brother taken into custody by anti-graft authorities as part of probe into housing scam

11.12.2018
Pakistan: Former minister detained in corruption probe

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

A former Pakistani minister and a close aide of former premier Nawaz Sharif has been taken into custody by the country’s anti-corruption authorities on Tuesday, local media reported.

Khawaja Saad Rafique, former minister for railways, and his brother Salman Rafique was taken into custody after the Lahore High Court rejected their applications, seeking extension in their bails.

The brothers are detained as part of an investigation into a housing scam.

According to National Accountability Authority (NAB), the owner of Paragon City Housing Society, Qaiser Amin Butt, who is already in the custody, had collected millions of rupees from people but failed to give them possession of plots.

NAB alleged that Butt has had a 15-year-long partnership with the Rafique brothers and they had also received money from the housing society, a charge they denied.

Authorities also barred Hamza Shehbaz, son of former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, from travelling to London.

According to local media, the authorities told him that his name is on the “blacklist” maintained by the Federal Investigation Agency.

Last month, NAB had also arrested Shehbaz Sharif on corruption charges.

Sharif told local broadcaster Geo News that NAB has failed to prove anything against him and “would not be able to prove even a penny's worth of corruption against him even until the Judgment Day.”

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