FIA submits detailed progress report in fake accounts case

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday submitted a report to the Supreme Court pertaining to the money laundering and fake accounts case it is currently investigating, with the recommendation that the apex court constitute a joint interrogation team to probe the matter.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir, has been hearing the case. The court had earlier asked the FIA for a report on the matter.

The most high-profile respondents in the case, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, are being investigated for using fake accounts and their alleged involvement in fraudulent bank transactions to the tune of Rs35 billion.

The siblings face allegations that they illegally channelled funds through the said accounts to launder them in connivance with the CEOs of major banks.

The case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to former president Zardari.

According to contents of the report submitted today, the FIA said it had launched a probe in 2015 on the basis of a tip-off.

The report also revealed that both Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed — the former a close confidante of Zardari — had been found to be owners of a Dubai-based foreign firm, KMA Crown. The agency told the court that it would formally request that government of the United Arab Emirates to investigate KMA Crown.

Anwar and Abdul Ghani were accused of having deposited Rs3.12 billion and withdrawn Rs4.01bn from 29 accounts.

The report read that till now, Anwar and Ghani could not produce a single document in their defence.

It said that during the investigation, two new companies of the Omni group — Anod Gas Limited and Platinium APG — had also been discovered.

The report added that FIA officials had raided Khoski Suger Mills after receiving information regarding the presence of an "important record".

A major portion of the record had been torched before the raid, the FIA said, but officials still managed to recover some samples. The report said 27 hard disks had been recovered from the sugar mill, along with weapons.

According to the report, the officials were waiting for reports from divisional commissioners and a process has been initiated to freeze the assets of Anwar Majeed and Arif Khan.

Furthermore, the report revealed that Sindh Bank and Summit Bank had already frozen the assets of the two in line with the court's orders.

The report alleged that the National Bank of Pakistan also froze the two's accounts, but helped them withdraw unspecified amounts.

The report also said that during the course of the investigation, Anwar Majeed had confessed that he and Younous Kodowari keep business relations. Younous is the owner of Rubicon Builders — a beneficiary of one of the fake accounts.

Defence counsel Aitzaz Ahsan could not appear before the case today. His assistant told the court that he will be available after the presidential election, in which he is participating.

The counsel for Abdul Ghani Majeed requested the court for a meeting with his client, but was turned down.

The hearing of the case has been deferred till Sep 5.



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