NAB seeks cancellation of Zardari’s bail in fake accounts case

NAB seeks cancellation of Zardari’s bail in fake accounts case

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The National Accountability Bureau has sought cancellation of bail granted by the Islamabad High Court to former president Asif Ali Zardari in the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case.

The anti-corruption watchdog submitted its reply in IHC earlier today, in which the bureau asked the court to cancel the interim pre-arrest bail granted to Zardari in the ongoing investigation into alleged money laundering carried out via fake bank accounts.

In its reply, which was submitted by deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, NAB said it fears evidence tampering owing to the influence yielded by Zardari, and that the Pakistan Peoples Party president was not cooperating with the bureau in the probe.

The watchdog claimed Zardari deliberately misled the court regarding his bail petition and did not deserve any leniency on the matter.

NAB said it handed its questionnaire to Zardari on March 20, and he was given 10 days to submit his responses to the questions.

The probe into the fake accounts scam was ongoing as per the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and NAB had obtained all documentary evidence in accordance with the law, the reply stated.

NAB was not obliged to inform Zardari about any of the inquiries in which he had not been summoned, it added.

The IHC on Wednesday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till April 29, after having approved the bail petitions of the two on March 28. 

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 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.

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