Monday Jul 09, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry on Monday denied issuing any directives to bar former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur from flying abroad in relation to a money-laundering case.
“We have not issued any instructions to bar Zardari and Talpur from leaving the country,” the interior secretary said.
“Will look into the matter after orders from court,” he added.
Earlier today, media reports claimed that the former president and his sister had been barred by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from leaving the country.
Geo News had reported earlier that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman is among seven suspects placed on the FIA's 'stop-list' — a provisional list of FIA barring suspects from flying abroad before they are formally placed on the Exit Control List.
Following the reports, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari summoned an emergency meeting of the party's central executive committee in Lahore.
The FIA registered a case in Karachi last week over a money laundering scandal of Rs35 billion said to implicate politicians, businessmen and bankers.
On July 6, FIA arrested Stock Exchange of Pakistan chairman Hussain Lawai, considered a close aide of Zardari.
FIA officials maintain that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.
The FIA inquiry started when the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a 'suspicious transaction report' in January this year regarding ten bank accounts.
Sources maintain that over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at a private bank were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees’ were made.
The amount according to FIA sources is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes. But despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported them to the authorities concerned including FIA.
On Sunday, the Supreme Court ordered to place the names of heads of three private banks involved in the scam on the Exit Control List (ECL).
The order came as Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the slow pace of inquiry into the case.
The apex court also summoned seven fake bank account holders and 13 beneficiaries on July 12.