Nawaz Sharif Tried to Bribe UK Firm To Halt Probe into Ill-Gotten Avenfield Property

The CEO of UK-based asset recovery firm Broadsheet LLC, Kaveh Moussav has claimed of receiving bribe offers from a relative of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif to stop a probe into latter Avenfield apartments in London.

Nawaz Sharif Tried to Bribe UK Firm To Halt Probe into Ill-Gotten Avenfield Property
Nawaz Sharif Tried to Bribe UK Firm To Halt Probe into Ill-Gotten Avenfield Property

Broadsheet LLC, a company that was registered in the Isle of Man in the Pervez Musharraf era about 20 years ago, helped the-then government and newly established NAB track down foreign assets purchased through alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Some years ago, Broadsheet LLC filed a lawsuit in the London Court of International Arbitration against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the unpaid bill of $17 million for its services.

In December 2018, former English court of appeal judge Sir Anthony Evans QC, as sole arbitrator, issued an order for payment of $22m to Broadsheet by the government of Pakistan.

Last year, a claim filed with the high court showed that the company has applied for permission to enforce the London court’s judgement that the company should be paid $22m by the government of Pakistan. Broadsheet had also asked for an interest of $4,758 per day to be applied.

The court ruled in the company’s favor but Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau NAB refused to pay and the bill grew to $28.7 million. It was finally paid end of December 2020.

Although Pakistan last week paid US$28.7 million the firm still seeks $3 million in interests and has tried to get hold of London apartments of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif instead.

However, a London court rejected the request of Broadsheet LLC, leaving the apartments in the possession of Sharif who lives in one of them since he escaped from Pakistan where he is being tried for corruption.

“By refusing to attach the Avenfield properties owned by former PM Nawaz Sharif’s sons it seems that the court has relied on the lack of privity, which means that Broadsheet will have to recover the amount from the debtor i.e. the Government of Pakistan, rather than from third parties against whom the Pakistani government may have a claim,” Malik said.

Neither the NAB spokesperson Nawazish Ali,

nor any other government offices responded to OCCRP’s request for comment.

After the Panama Papers leaks were published, Pakistan launched an investigation into the properties of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family which owns luxury flats in London and a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.

Sharif was ousted from his post in July 2017 for lying about his wealth and jailed for corruption in the steel mill case. The London flats case was suspended.

Sharif denied the corruption charges and repeatedly said the cases against him were politically motivated. He accused the country’s powerful military and courts of working jointly to end his political career.

In an interview with a Youtuber Irfan Hashmi, the chief of Broadsheet said that a person who introduced himself as a nephew of Nawaz Sharif, had approached the firm in 2012 and offered money to stop investigation.

Moussav said that the offer, however, was rejected by saying that the matter will be decided by the court. He remarked, “We don’t negotiate with crooks”.

Reacting to Nawaz Sharif’s remarks about the London High Court’s decision in the Broadsheet LLC vs NAB case, he said that ruling did not exonerate the PML-N leader from the accusations related to Avenefield properties.

The disgraced prime minister in his remarks had said that the London court’s ruling to not attach the apartments showed that he and his family were exonerated.

Thanking God for “justice”, Nawaz Sharif said NAB has wasted an estimated $50 million so far in legal costs and judgment.

The Broadsheet CEO also expressed his willingness to pursue the investigation against the apartments, claiming that he has strong evidence in this regard. If Prime Minister Imran Khan decides to continue the probe, the firm will go after the Avenfield apartment.

After the Panama Papers leaks were published, a high-level probe was launched into the properties of allegedly owned by Nawaz Sharif’s family, including luxury flats in London and a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.

In July 2017, the former premier was ousted from his office for concealing his wealth and jailed for corruption in the steel mill case. The case about London flats was however suspended.

Nawaz Sharif has been denied the corruption charges, besides asserting that the cases are politically motivated.