A UAE-based legal firm has verified the contents of a report submitted to the Supreme Court by the joint investigation team (JIT), which states that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was an employee of an offshore company in Dubai, read a report published in the Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
According to the law firm Khalifa bin Huwaidan Advocates, based on the UAE’s labour laws, Sharif would have received a salary while serving as chairman of the offshore company until 2014 — the premier, however, has denied receiving salary from any company.
The company, Capital FZE, was unearthed by the JIT probing money laundering allegations against the Sharif family. The JIT in its report submitted to the SC on July 10 confirmed that PM Sharif served as the chairman of the board of Capital FZE.
The JIT said that it had collected evidence directly from the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), the concerned regulator, which confirmed that Nawaz Sharif not only served as the head of the company’s board, but also drew a salary of 10,000 dirhams between Aug 7, 2006 and April 20, 2014 — nearly a year after assuming office. The Sharifs denied the claim.
The Dubai-based legal firm, which was consulted by the JIT during its two-month long probe, submitted its report to the Supreme Court on Monday, a lawyer at the firm told Khaleej Times.
“Normally businessmen establish companies in Dubai if they want to maintain a visa status in the company but in this case, (Nawaz Sharif) was an employee in a Jafza-based firm,” Khalifa bin Huwaidan was quoted as saying.
PM’s counsel Khawaja Harris Ahmed had conceded before the SC on Tuesday that Hassan Nawaz — the son of the prime minister — was the owner of Capital FZE. He claimed that though the prime minister was the designated chairman of the board, he did not draw any salary.
Last week, minister Ahsan Iqbal had claimed that Sharif was named the chairman of Capital FZE in the documents due to some legal issues in acquiring a resident visa (iqama) of the UAE.
However, according to the Khaleej Times report, UAE’s labour laws mandate that all employees receive a salary through a bank account under the UAE’s Wage Protection System (WPS), “failing which the firm can be blacklisted and shut down”.
According to the JIT report, Sharif did not disclose that he was the chairman of Capital FZE before running for the post of prime minister.