LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was granted nine-day physical remand of Aleem Khan, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and one of the party’s top lieutenant in Punjab.

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The accountability watchdog had sought a 15-day remand to interrogate the party leader. Aleem will next be presented in court on February 15.

The senior Punjab minister was arrested on Wednesday after he appeared before the anti-graft watchdog in cases pertaining to an offshore company revealed in the Panama Papers leaks and for accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.
“Arrest of [the] accused is necessary to unearth other assets which accused might hold in his ownership or in the ownership of his Benamdar and for the collection of evidence and concluding the inquiry/investigation in accordance with law,” NAB said in a press release.

After his arrest, Khan stepped down as provincial minister for community development.

The PTI leader had failed to appear before the bureau despite two summons. The NAB had then sought documents in a case regarding accumulating assets beyond income. The investigation revealed that Aleem owned flats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

“The accused established multiple companies with the purpose of real estate business and invested millions of rupees,” reads a NAB statement.

Aleem is also under probe for establishing offshore companies in the UAE and UK. “Said offshore companies acquired assets of extensive value which are beyond known sources of income of the accused,” the statement added. “It is likely that accused may tamper with the prosecution evidence through coercion, criminal inducement, and criminal intimidation.”

The anti-graft watchdog also claims that the PTI leader has abused his power as a member of Punjab Assembly and Minister for Information Technology by indulging in corrupt practices while serving as secretary for the Parkview Housing Society project.

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