- Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur set to appear before FIA tomorrow
- FIA team, Rangers and NAB official seize mills record, arrest three persons in raid on Khoski sugar mill
BADIN: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Sunday raided a sugar mill belonging to Omni Group in Badin and confiscated the record of all the 16 sugar mills belonging to the group besides arresting three people a day ahead of former president Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s appearance before the agency in the multi-billion money laundering scam.
According to media reports, the raid was conducted after revelations made by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s close aide Anwar Majeed during the FIA interrogation pertaining to Rs 41.4 billion money laundering case.
An FIA team along with Rangers and NAB personnel sealed entries and exits of the mill before conducting the raid in Khoski area, reports said.
Moreover, the security officials arrested at least three sugar mill employees, including in-charge of information technology, accountant and administrative officer and confiscated documents retrieved from the heavily guarded record room.
Omni Group and former president Asif Ali Zardari are under FIA’s radar ever since the agency started probing a money laundering scam involving at least 31 accounts. The FIA has already arrested Anwar Majeed and his son Ghani Majeed while Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are out on protective that will be ending on September 4.
On Saturday, a local court in Karachi extended the physical remand of Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed. FIA had presented Abdul Ghani Majeed before additional district and sessions judge, south.
Majeed’s counsel had informed the court that Abdul Ghani is investigated all night and not allowed to sleep. “A medical examination should be conducted of my client as he faces the risk of brain haemorrhage,” the counsel had said. Majeed’s counsel had further requested the court to send Anwar on a judicial remand instead of a physical one as he is hospitalised.
ZARDARI, FARYAL SUMMONED:
FIA has summoned former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the Rs41.4 billion money laundering probe on Monday.
The FIA issued a statement on Saturday, saying that Zardari and his sister had to present themselves at the agency’s headquarters in Islamabad. The PPP leaders, and their lawyer Farooq H Naek, will appear at the FIA office along with the relevant documents to record statements.
This is the fourth time that the agency has summoned the PPP co-chairman and his sister to appear before a joint investigation team (JIT). Despite earlier summons, the accused, Zardari and Talpur, failed to appear before FIA’s JIT probing the money laundering scam.
On August 17, a banking court had issued non-bailable warrants of arrest for Zardari and 15 others in the Rs 41.4 billion money laundering case. However, on the very next day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had approved the former president’s petition for protective bail.
While hearing the money laundering case, the court had directed authorities to present Zardari and other suspects before it by September 4. However, PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar had issued a statement in which he quoted Zardari’s counsel Farooq Naek as saying that no warrants against the former president have been issued.
The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested last month in connection with the probe.
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 reports. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions, and bribes.
Also, warrants were issued for suspects absconding in the case, including Namar Majeed, Aslam Masood, Arif Khan, Naseer Abdullah Hussain, Adnan Javed, Mohammad Umair, Iqbal, Azam Wazir Khan, Zain Malik, and Mustafa Zulqarnain.