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Monday Apr 08 2019

Fake accounts case: NAB files new reference in Pink Residency probe

Zardari’s close aide land secretary Aftab Ahmed Memon, Omni Group’s AG Majeed and others are accused in Pink Residency reference 

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a new reference in an accountability court in the federal capital in connection with its ongoing probe into the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case.

The latest reference, which pertains to alleged corruption and illegal allotment of land in Karachi’s Pink Residency, was filed following approval by the NAB executive board last week.

The reference nominates Aftab Ahmed Memon – Secretary Land Utilisation Department of the Sindh Board of Revenue and a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari – who is under NAB custody for illegally allotting government land in favour of Pink Residency. He was arrested by the NAB Rawalpindi chapter on March 8 in the ongoing probe into the alleged misuse of his authority.

Omni Group’s Abdul Ghani Majeed and others are also accused in the case. 

NAB has meanwhile also been probing Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for corruption, money laundering, and misuse of authority. 

Zardari and Talpur appeared before an accountability court in Islamabad earlier today - their first appearance here after the fake accounts case was transferred from a banking court in Karachi upon NAB's appeal. 

The case

The Federal Investigation Agency is probing 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July last year 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 2018.

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.