KARACHI: A local banking court on Friday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former president Asif Zardari and other absconding suspects in an ongoing probe against a multi-billion money laundering scam.
Warrants were issued for suspects absconding in the case including Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Zardari, Namar Majeed, Aslam Masood, Arif Khan, Naseer Abdullah Hussain, Adnan Javed, Mohammad Umair, Iqbal, Azam Wazir Khan, Zain Malik, and Mustafa Zulqarnain.
The court ordered the suspects to be arrested and presented before it by September 4.
Zardari's lawyer, Farooq H. Naek, denied the reports of his client's arrest warrant. Senior PPP leader Farhatullah Babar also denied that an arrest warrant was issued for Zardari, dismissing the reports as baseless.
The Federal Investigation Agency 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 last month in connection with the probe.
The banking court hearing the case on Thursday approved an extension in Talpur's interim bail until the next hearing on September 4.
Interim bails for some others, including Shehzad Jatoi and Sher Muhammad Mugheri, were also extended until the same date.
A decision on the bail of Lawai and Taha Raza was adjourned until August 18.
The court also approved transit remand of the two under-custody accused Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed, on the FIA's request.
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 sources. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.