Islamabad (October 8, 2018): The Ministry of Interior has barred 95 individuals from leaving the country in connection with a case pertaining to money laundering through fake bank accounts.
Of these 95 individuals, 78 have been placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and 17 on the FIA’s provisional national identification list (PNIL) or ‘stop list’.It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari or any of his family members have not been named in the list.
The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe.The former president’s another close aide and Omni Group chairman, Anwar Majeed, and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed, were also arrested by the FIA in August. Lawai, Majeed and his son remain under custody.
Investigations so far have revealed that several ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks 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.
Earlier on September 22, at least 19 accounts of Omni Group had been frozen by three different banks on Saturday on directions of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in probe pertaining to money laundering through spurious bank accounts.
As per details garnered, cash over Rs330 million had been stashed in these frozen accounts. Following FIA’s order, National Bank, Summit Bank and Sindh bank have frozen accounts of the conglomerate.
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On the other hand, Omni Group had moved court against FIA’s order in bid to reopen the accounts. The court had summoned reply from FIA whereas notice has been issued to prosecutor of FIA in this regard.According to the FIA, 29 accounts were opened in the name of seven people, including a woman. The agency said that 18 to 19 of the ‘fake’ accounts were opened in the Summit Bank alone.
FIA sources said that these accounts were used for money laundering with the accounts mainly being operated by a businessman, Anwar Majeed who is said to be very close to Zardari and his business partner.