JUL 27, 2018: With polls over, the Federal Investigative Agency has swung into action and summoned Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur to appear on Saturday and record their statements in the Rs35 billion money laundering case it’s been investigating since few months now.
Both PPP leaders were summoned by the agency’s commercial banking circle, FIA authorities told Geo News. The FIA had previously declared former president Zardari, Talpur absconders in relation to the money laundering case. Both PPP leaders were elected as lawmakers in July 25 poll from the province of Sindh.
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.
A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar earlier this month took suo motu notice into FIA’s probe of the multi billion money-laundering scam.
The case also nominated others including Zardari’s close aide — a banking expert and Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai.
Lawai is accused of being instrumental in opening of ‘benami’ accounts in 3 banks which he headed at different times, and used his influence to bend rules, FIA alleged.
The FIA also declared 20 other people including another Zardari close aide Anwar Majeed and his son absconder in the money laundering case.
The PPP co-chairman has denied involvement in the scam.
Speaking during an interview earlier this month, he said he will face the bogus cases like he did in the past, adding that he was sent a notice of Rs150 million rather than the propagated Rs35 billion amount.
The Chairman of country’s premier anti-corruption body Justice (retd) Javiad Iqbal has vowed to continue probe and accountability process of public institutions accused of misuse of authority, misappropriations of funds and misgovernance without fear or favor.