KARACHI — On Monday, the country’s highest court issued a notice to former president Asif Ali Zardari in a suo motu case pertaining to money laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts.
Zardari, the co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has been directed to submit reply by December 31. The top court also froze assets of Omni Group and Zardari Group and banned the sale, purchase and transfer of properties owned by three business groups which include Bahria.
The verdict came after a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) submitted its report revealing that Rs42 billion was laundered through 29 fake bank accounts that had been used for money laundering and also to pay expenses of former president Asif Zardari.
The team in its report also implicated Pakistan Peoples Party leader and senior lawyer Farooq Naeek in the money laundering case.
The report said while probing into the affairs of M/s Orient Energy System, the JIT came across 13 remittances, including three from Spintex Textiles Trading LLC, Dubai (a Hawala entity from Dubai) amounting to $800,827 arriving in the account of Ibad Farooq Naek, son of Farooq Naek from 2011 to 2013.
Mr. Naek was the Senate chairman till March 12, 2012, the report said.
It noted that these payments were used for the purchase of two plots in DHA, Karachi, in the name of his spouse Farzana Naek.
Apart from this, NAB Karachi is already probing the nexus between Mr. Naek and the PPP-led Sindh government in which an exorbitant amount of approximately Rs500 million has been paid by the law department (2014 to 2018) in various litigations to him.
Naek is still engaged by the Sindh government against the orders passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in CP NO 3054/2015 dated December 13, 2017, says the report.
Presently, Naek is representing Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur in this case, says the report.
The Supreme Court hearing a suo moto case in the fake accounts case could order Mr. Naeek be replaced from representing Zardari and his his sister Talpur in the same matter, say some legal experts, citing conflict of interest as one reason.