Saturday Dec 29, 2018
LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday issued an interim order on the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case.
In its interim order, the Supreme Court ordered that all records pertaining to fake bank accounts be seized and presented before it. The top court also directed to freeze all fake bank accounts which have been identified in the joint investigation team’s (JIT) report.
The apex court further ordered the monitoring of all transactions made from the accounts.
As per the interim order, a ban has been imposed on the direct and indirect sale or purchase of all buildings and properties mentioned in the JIT report.
The SC will hear the money laundering and fake bank accounts case on December 31.
A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will hear the case. Notices have been sent to the attorney general and all respondents in this regard.
The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe.
The former president’s other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed a close aide and Omni Group chairman and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August.
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.
A banking court on Friday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of former president Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till January 7 in the ongoing money laundering case.
Earlier, the JIT that has been investigating the fake accounts recommended a legal course against some 415 key individuals and around 172 entities allegedly involved in transactions of approximately Rs220 billion through 104 fake accounts.
The JIT recently observed that either the investigation would be further referred to banking courts, NAB, FIA or it was up to the apex court to decide based on the JIT findings. The report also revealed a domestic worker of Zardari, with an estimated fortune of around Rs8.1 billion stashed into one of his fake accounts. Mushtaq Ahmed, 37, who once served as one of personal staff members of Zardari accumulated the wealth with Zain Malik through a joint fake account maintained in a private bank in Karachi during 2014-15, the report stated.