Money laundering case: Faryal, Zardari’s interim bail extended till 23rd January


KARACHI: A banking court on Monday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till January 23 in an ongoing money laundering case.

Zardari’s lawyer Abu Bakar Zardari appeared instead of their counsel Farooq H. Naek. The banking court said it couldn’t take any action in the case under the light of Supreme Court orders.

Earlier, on December 21, the court had extended their pre-arrest bail till January 7 in the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case.

The medical report of Anwar Majeed was furnished by the jail officials before the court. A large number of Pakistan People’s Party leaders were present outside the court, however no ruckus erupted.

During the hearing, the counsels of the suspects requested the court to order the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a final charge sheet. However, the judges said that the Supreme Court has halted proceedings in the banking court. “We cannot proceed without the top court’s permission,” the judges added.

Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur had appeared before the court for extension in their interim bail which ceased to have effect on Dec 21.

The court then extended Zardari and Talpur’s interim pre-arrest bail and adjourned the hearing of the case till January 23.

Zardari and Talpur are facing probe into money laundering scam involving over Rs35 billion laundered through fake bank accounts. Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai and Anwar Majeed, head of the Omni Group are also being investigated in the scandal. They both are in the custody.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the mega money laundering scam had submitted its report to the Supreme Court.

The JIT report comprises 7500 pages and more than a dozen volumes, points out involvement of a key politician from Sindh in money-laundering through fake bank accounts, sources said.

The case

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.

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