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A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday arrested PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz from Kot Lakhpat Jail where she was visiting her father Nawaz Sharif. "Maryam and her cousin Yousuf Abbas were arrested in connection with the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and taken to the NAB headquarters," a press release issued by the NAB, said. "Both will be presented before an accountability court in Lahore for remand on Friday (today)."

On the directives of the NAB chairman, a team of doctors will conduct a medical examination of both the detainees. Maryam will be detained at the NAB Day Care Centre where lady police constables are posted, sources said. The sources said Maryam's family has been allowed to provide her clothes, medicines, mineral water and other basic necessities of life.

Maryam was due to appear before the NAB in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case on Thursday; however, she excused herself from appearing before the accountability bureau and had gone to meet Nawaz Sharif in jail instead. Maryam was taken into custody after she was shown the arrest warrants issued for her non-appearance before the NAB. The PML-N leaders and supporters protested the development.

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, in a statement, condemned Maryam's arrest and termed it a 'wrong step'. "Maryam Nawaz's arrest in front of Nawaz Sharif and his grandchildren is extremely condemnable, regrettable and shameful," Shahbaz said. "The government has gone blind by political revenge and neither has the capacity nor the wisdom to understand the sensitivity of the situation. What message is being given to the public by the arrest of Maryam right before Eid?" questioned the PML-N chief.

It may be noted that Maryam Nawaz had appeared before the NAB on July 3 to record her statement in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference. The statement was regarding 'dubious' business transactions of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) of which she was one of the major shareholders. The sources claimed that a NAB inquiry started in October 2018 detected that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif and the family of late Abbas Sharif are shareholders in the company along with some foreigners of the UAE and the UK. Huge investments were made in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills from 2001 to 2017 in billions of rupees in the name of foreigners issuing shares in millions to them, later on the same shares of the company were transferred back to Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif at various times without paying any consideration which led to the conclusion that names of foreigners were used as proxies to make huge investments in the company for the reason that Sharif family did not have white money for investment, the sources said.

The NAB had asked Maryam to provide details of her shareholdings in the CSM, details of financial relations with foreign nationals - Saeed Said bin Jabar al Suweidi, a UAE national; Sheikh Zakauddin, a UK national; Hani Ahmad Jamjoon, a Saudi national; and Naseer Abdullah Lootah, a UAE national. Maryam was also asked to provide details of remittances/telegraphic transfers sent and received by her from abroad.

Moreover, a team of NAB raided the Model Town residence of the PML (N) President to arrest his two employees; however, they returned empty handed when both were not found there. The PML-N workers present on the occasion shouted slogans against the incumbent government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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