ANF seeks Hanif Abbasi's financial history in connection with ephedrine case

PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi on Thursday moved the Lahore High Court after the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) sent him a fresh notice for detailed financial records as part of the watchdog's investigation in the 2012 ephedrine case.

Hanif has been directed by ANF to provide his own as well as his family’s financial details for the watchdog to determine his alleged involvement in the sale of ephedrine, a regulated chemical, to narcotics smugglers.

Hanif was accused of 'misusing' 500 kilogrammes of the controlled substance, which he obtained for his pharmaceutical company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010.

Instead of using the chemical to manufacture medicines, Hanif allegedly sold it to narcotics smugglers.

The ANF had registered a case against Hanif and his accomplices in June 2012 under Sections 9-C, 14 and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act, under which an accused may get the death sentence if convicted.

In 2014, Hanif was formally indicted in the case. A special CNS court had also indicted Basit Abbasi, brother of Hanif Abbasi, along with distributors and employees of Grey Pharma.

The ANF has now asked for Hanif and his family’s financial records through a formal notice. The watchdog is looking to conduct a deeper inquiry into the case and ferret out Hanif's involvement in it.

The ANF has sent Hanif a formal notice, asking him to provide his own financial documents as well as the financial documents of his wife, two daughters, his son and his brother.

The anti-narcotics watchdog has also asked Hanif and his family members to provide the details of any financial assets they posses. Hanif and his family have also been directed by the ANF to desist from transferring any assets to each other without bringing it to the watchdog’s notice.

The former MNA has also been directed to provide the details of any loans, insurance agreements, investments and premiums to the ANF as well.

The family has additionally been asked to provide the ANF the serial numbers of any money transfers, cheques, bank drafts, telegraphic transfers and the details of any foreign remittances they may have received.

In his petition challenging the notice, Abbasi’s lawyer has taken the stance that the investigation in the case against the defendant has nearly wrapped up, with just one witness statement left to be recorded. Thus, to reopen the case will only serve to disrupt Abbasi and his family’s life.

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