LONDON: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started probe into the offshore companies held by Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari (Zulfi Bukhari), close aide and friend of Imran Khan, sources told Geo News.
The anti-graft body sent a notice to Bukhari on February 27 to appear before it and explain facts about his offshore companies which have been used to buy dozens of expensive commercial properties in London’s expensive zone.
According to NAB sources, Bukhari was in Pakistan when the summons were issued but he failed to appear before the NAB Pindi office and left for London.
“These summons were issued to Zulfi Bukhari’s residential address in Islamabab’s F-10/1 Sector in relation to known six offshore companies owned by him and disclosed in the Panama papers,” said the source, adding that Zulfi was supposed to appear before Ahmed Saeed Wazir, Deputy Director of NAB in Rawalpindi.
The NAB confirmed that it has started inquiry “against Zulfiqar Bukhari s/o Wajid Bukhari and others”.
The NAB notice mentioned that Zulfi Bukhari owns six offshore companies which were revealed in Pakistan by The News reporter Umar Cheema last year.
Bukhari had in 2016 defended having offshore companies and said that it was “legal and common practice for companies & businessmen like myself to establish commercial entities in different jurisdictions.”
He grew close to Imran Khan after he hired forensic firms for Imran Khan in London to investigate business details of Hasan Nawaz Sharif, son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Bukhari was also among the trusted witnesses, along with PTI’s Awan Chaudhary, when Imran Khan got married to Bushra Wattoo on January 1, 2018 in Lahore.