Abb Takk News

DFID Denial of Daily Mail’s news is nothing of the kind: Davis Rose

LONDON: David Rose, British author and investigative journalist who wrote the article alleging former Punjab CM and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif stole British taxpayers’ money given to Pakistan’s Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA), which was set up to help the victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, said that the Department for International Development (DFID) “rebuttal” of his story about Shahbaz Sharif is nothing of the kind.

In a statement issued on his official Twitter handle, he said that the DIFD’s rebuttal merely repeats their statement quoted in the article, and claims the piece contains no evidence about the earthquake fund. Read it. It does. Poor show. More wasted cash!

Earlier today, Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) rejected a report published by Daily Mail alleging Sharif family of laundering quake victims’ aid money and embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money to Britain.

In a statement issued by the DFID clearly stated that the construction of school from the aid had been completed and an audit had also been conducted in this regard.

It is pertinent to mention The Mail on Sunday has campaigned against Britain’s policy of spending 0.7 percent of national income, currently about £14 billion a year, on foreign aid.

Previously, Daily Mail had exposed an alleged money laundering scandal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif from the UK government aid for earthquake victims in Pakistan.

According to a confidential investigation report seen by Daily Mail, millions of pounds were transferred into the bank accounts of Shehbaz’s family members, including his wife, children and a son-in-law.

It reported stated to have interviewed key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood. Mehmood claimed that he had laundered millions on behalf of Shahbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham – without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators, who inspected his books regularly.

According to Daily Mail, investigators are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from Department for International Development (DFID)-funded aid projects. For rehabilitating and rebuild lives of the poor, the DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers; and the legal documents allege that Shahbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from that fund.

Moreover, investigators had launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes to give poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families, according to the publication.

Allegedly, stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shahbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC. Furthermore, it stated that self-confessed Birmingham money-launderer Aftab Mehmood told the MoS that he had his accounts audited every three months by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – who failed to notice anything was amiss.