SC orders formation of JIT to probe Rs35bn money laundering case | Pakistan Today

SC orders formation of JIT to probe Rs35bn money laundering case

  • DG FIA says raid was conducted at Omni Group’s office in Karachi, Dubai
  • Justice Nisar says it is nation’s right that their looted money is brought back

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe alleged laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts in connivance with senior bankers and others to suspected beneficiaries, including former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

While heading a three-judge bench, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said that the investigation committee will submit a report on the matter every 15 days.

During the hearing, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon recorded his statement and said that a raid was conducted at the Omni Group’s office in Karachi.

“We found documents related to Kam Crown International Trading House Company in Dubai during the raid,” the DG FIA said and added that based on the documents, a raid was conducted at the Dubai office as well.

“During the raid at the Dubai office we found numerous records of foreign currency accounts,” Memon said. He further added that the accounts found there belong to Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed’s family and the “transfers in the accounts were made by the same people as those indicated in the account details. The money was sent from Dubai to England and France”.

Memon continued, “We also seized several hard drives containing a lot of data.”

Following this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned if FIA has people who can check the data. To this, Memon said that the cyber crime wing is “working on it”.

Furthermore, the CJP ordered the formation of a JIT to probe this matter. Justice Ahsan questioned: “if anyone had reservations over the JIT formation”.

“The suspects will get a clean chit. This matter has nothing to do with the suspects,” the chief justice said.

Following this, Majeed’s counsel Shahid Hamid asked the court to look into the “miscellaneous petition regarding the JIT” he had filed.

However, Justice Nisar remarked, “We have records of the conversation between Anwar Majeed and the chief minister. It was said that Majeed can reside at the chief minister’s residence.”

“We will transfer the case to Punjab,” Justice Nisar further said.

“It is a matter of Rs35 billion, we want a transparent investigation,” he observed.

Stating that it is the nation’s right that their looted money is brought back, the chief justice said, “We should form a JIT for further investigation.”

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested by the FIA on July 6 in connection to a multi-billion money laundering scam. Moreover, Taha Raza was also arrested in connection with the same case.

It was also reported that warrants were issued for suspects absconding in the case, including Namar Majeed, Aslam Masood, Arif Khan, Naseer Abdullah Hussain, Adnan Javed, Mohammad Umair, Iqbal, Azam Wazir Khan, Zain Malik, and Mustafa Zulqarnain.

The FIA also requested the banking court for a 14-day remand of former president Asif Zardari’s close aide and Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed and his son. The accused’s counsel, Farooq H Naek, opposed the appeal.

Earlier, the FIA took former president Asif Zardari’s close aide and Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed into custody outside the Supreme Court, where he and his family had appeared after repeated absences from hearings of the same case.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to reports. The amount, according to reports, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.



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