FIA flies Lawai to capital for further investigation in money laundering probe | Pakistan Today

FIA flies Lawai to capital for further investigation in money laundering probe

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday transferred former Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Hussain Lawai to Islamabad for further investigation in a money-laundering probe.

The FIA team in charge of Lawai’s transportation has already reportedly left the airport with the accused and the flight is scheduled for 4pm.

The top banker will be questioned by senior FIA officials in the capital.

Lawai, a close aide of former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, had earlier been arrested by the agency on July 6.

Earlier, Zardari’s legal team submitted his response to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday regarding the alleged Rs35 billion money laundering scam.

The reply stated that the former president and his sister Faryal Talpur will appear before the FIA probe team after the upcoming general polls.

FIA officials maintain that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.

The Supreme Court (SC) has taken suo motu notice of the case that revolves around a 2015 probe into the suspicious transactions through 29 ‘benami’ accounts — 16 in the Summit Bank, eight in the Sindh Bank and five in the UBL.

Seven individuals were said to be involved in suspicious transactions of around Rs35 billion.

The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

Lawai and Summit Bank’s corporate unit head Taha Raza have already been in FIA’s custody in the case.

The suspected beneficiaries that the apex court had summoned on Wednesday include Nasser Abdulla Lootah, Ansari Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd (Anwar Majeed, Ali Kamal Majeed), Omni Polymer Packages Pvt Ltd, Pak Ethnol Pvt Ltd, Chamber Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, M/s Agro Farms Thatta Pvt Ltd; Zardari Group Pvt Ltd (Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur), Parthenon Pvt Ltd (Iqbal Khan Noori), A-One International (account identified in Suspicious Transac­tion Report), Lucky Interna­tional (STR), Logistic Trading (STR), Royal International (STR) and Umair Associates (STR).

Likewise, those who reportedly deposited the money in the accounts were: Bahria Town Karachi (Zain Malik), Sujawal Agro Farms Pvt Ltd, Tando Allahyar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, Omni Pvt Ltd, Agro Farms Thatta Pvt Ltd, Alfa Zulu Co Pvt Ltd, Haji Mureed Akbar (banker on behalf of contractor), Sher Mohammad Mugheri & Co (contractor), M/s Sardar Mohammad Ashraf D. Baloch Pvt Ltd (contractor), A-One Interna­tional (STR), Lucky Inter­national (STR), Logistic Trading (I.I. Chundrigar) (STR), Iqbal Metals (STR), Royal International (STR) and Umair Associates (STR).

As per FIA Director General (DG) Bashir Memon’s report, the persons/companies in whose names fake/fictitious accounts were opened are: Tariq Sultan (A-One International), Erum Aqeel (Ibrahim Linkers), Mohammad Ashraf (Logistic Trading), Mohammad Iqbal Araen (Iqbal Metals), Mohammad Umair (Umair Associates), Adnan Javed (Lucky International) and Qasim Ali (Royal International).

They have also been summoned for July 12.

Besides, the apex court ordered the production of the presidents/CEOs of UBL, Summit Bank and Sindh Bank (including those in FIA’s custody) on Thursday.

The SC also requisitioned several cases from the Sindh High Court (SHC) in this regard.

The court directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to seize/ freeze the account in which Summit Bank had deposited Rs7 billion as equity and that the latter should not be allowed to withdraw the amount.

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