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Monday Jul 09 2018

Zardari, Faryal Talpur's names placed on ECL: sources

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur's names have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), sources informed Geo News late Monday.

The names have been placed on the ECL on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the sources said.

The apex court earlier in the day summoned Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and his sister and others in a case relating to Rs35 billion money laundering scam.

Taking a suo motu notice, the court ordered the duo to appear before it on July 12. It also directed Inspector General (IG) Sindh Amjad Javid Saleemi to ensure their presence in the court.

Prior to that, sources said that Zardari's name was placed on the FIA's 'stop-list' — a provisional list barring suspects from flying abroad before they are formally placed on the ECL.

They said that FIA personnel at all land and air immigration points across the country had been apprised of the decision.

Previously, it was reported that Zardari was among seven suspects placed on the 'stop-list'.

Last week, the FIA registered a case in Karachi over a money laundering scandal of Rs35 billion said to implicate politicians, businessmen and bankers.

On July 6, the agency arrested Stock Exchange of Pakistan chairman Hussain Lawai, who is considered to be a close aide of Zardari.

The FIA officials maintain that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.

FIA constitutes JIT to probe matter

Meanwhile, the FIA constituted a seven-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the matter. The team will be headed by Addition DG FIA Dr Najaf Mirza.

Geo News obtained a copy of the notification of the JIT's formation, signed by DG FIA Bashir Memon.

The JIT includes Director FIA Punjab Dr Usman Anwar, Director FIA Sindh Muneer Ahmed Sheikh, Additional Director Banking Circle Karachi Faizullah Korejo, Deputy Director FIA Sindh Ali Mardan Khoso and two deputy directors of FIA Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Ahmed and Khalid Anis.

The investigation team will be able to get assistance from any additional member and will probe fake bank accounts.

The probe

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 the 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.


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