LONDON:(APS)January 14, 2017-Properties owned by the Sharif family in London’s upscale Park Lane neighbourhood were purchased in the 1990s and there has been no change of ownership since then, BBC Urdu reported on Friday.
According to official documents available with BBC Urdu, the four flats were purchased in the name of the Nielsen and Nescoll companies.
According to the documents, an official record of companies doing business in the United Kingdom reveals that when Hassan Nawaz established Flagship Investment Ltd in 2001, the address he provided at the time of registration of the company was that of his Park Lane apartment.
After the Panama Papers were published, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son, Hussain Nawaz, had accepted the family’s ownership of Nielsen and Nescoll.
Hussain had said: “The Park Lane apartments in London are ours, two offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll, own these flats and I am the beneficial owner of these companies, working under a trust held by my sister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.”
Records obtained by BBC from the department that deals with sales and purchase of land in the UK show that the first flat was purchased by Nescoll Limited on Jan 1, 1993.
The second and third flats where purchased on July 31, 1995 by Nielsen Enterprise.
The fourth flat was purchased by Nescoll Limited on July 30, 1996.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) lead counsel Naeem Bokhari, during the ongoing Supreme Court hearing of the Panamagate case, has alleged that the owner of the London flats is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Bokhari has claimed that the flats had been bought between 1993-1996 under the name of the premier’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who he said was underage at the time and was only made a beneficiary ‘for show’.
The PTI has been trying to establish that Maryam Nawaz, and not her brother Hussain Nawaz, as claimed by the PML-N earlier, was the beneficial owner of Minerva Financial Services Limited, which held Nescoll Limited and Nielson Enterprises Limited — the owners of the London flats.
Supreme Court Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the five-member bench hearing the case, has cautioned the Sharif lawyers that if they were unable to establish ownership of Minerva Financial Services Limited, the court would have to ‘imagine’ that what PTI lawyers claim is true.