Nearly 84 billion rupees of laundered monies were used to buy out as many as 46 real estate units in and around Bilawal House in Karachi during the period 2008 thru 2014–at that time PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was the President of the country and his party ruled at the Center and in Sindh province.
The plots purchases’ revelation was made by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted on directive of the Supreme Court to probe fraudulent transactions and fake accounts, the Daily Times paper reports.
During its marathon investigation process, the JIT while unearthing ill-gotten money through bank fraud accounts claimed that the 62-story high Bahria Icon Tower in Karachi’s posh Clifton neighborhood had also been built on 7,891 square yards of land occupied by the former president through his front man, identified as Dinshaw.
The beneficiary is however Bahria Town group as the group has 9,346 square yards of land for this project. But after illegally occupying amenity plots and other private lands, the builtup area of the Icon Tower increased to 17,237 square yards.
It was revealed that officials of Sindh Building Control Authority, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Board of Revenue Sindh and Karachi Development Authority were involved in the land scam.
Officers investigating the scam observed that the prime aim of purchasing bungalows and residential units in and around Bilawal House was to build multistory luxury flats by Zardari Group, the DT report said.
The group also in connivance with civic bodies tried to grab landpatches and plots nearby the Bahria Icon Tower, Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mazar, parking lot meant for amenity land, and encroachment on amenity spaces, besides including areas near Jehangir Kothari Parade, which was declared protected heritage under Heritage Protection Act 1994, they maintained.
The JIT inquiry was initiated on receipt of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) from Financial Monitoring Units (FMU) of State Bank of Pakistan.