Court unfreezes Hanif Abbasi’s assets, declares ANF action unlawful
A special court (court of narcotics substances) in Rawalpindi declared the action of freezing the assets of PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi and family null and void, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
Announcing the verdict, the judge, Sohail Nasir, not only listed the action of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to freeze the assets as illegal but also rejected the applications submitted by the agency on the issue.
The judgment means that all immovable and moveable assets belonging to the family have been restored. The list includes bank accounts, three vehicles as well as three plots and three houses located in DHA and Bahria Town.
Meanwhile, the bank accounts of two close relatives – Ahmed Bilal and Mohsin Khursheed – have also been restored.
Just a few days before the July 25, 2018 general elections, the PML-N leader was awarded life sentence in the ephedrine quota case. He was contesting polls against Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid from NA-60 – the most prominent National Assembly seat in Rawalpindi.
But in April last year, a two-member bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) had accepted Abbasi’s plea to suspend his sentence after which he was released from prison.
The much-talked-about ephedrine quota case had emerged in 2011 when the then PPP government announced that the issue of alleged allocation of 9,000 kilogrammes of ephedrine to two pharmaceutical companies — Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharmaceutical Limited – would be investigated.
The rules say a company cannot be allocated more than 500 kilogrammes of the drug. Later, the ANF registered a case in June 2012 against nine suspects, including Abbasi.
He was charged with the misuse of 500 kilogrammes of ephedrine obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010, saying he sold the substance to drug traffickers.