Omni Group chief requests for B-class facilities in jail

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KARACHI: Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed on Monday filed a petition seeking B-class facilities in jail after being arrested for involvement in a multi-billion rupee money laundering case.

A banking court which is hearing the money laundering case issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor upon receiving the request from Majeed.

In the petition, Majeed has pleaded that “he is an educated man and hence should be provided with B-class facilities”. Earlier, the court had accepted Hussain Lawai’s petition for B-class facilities in jail.

Earlier, FIA had told the Supreme Court (SC) that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has found 33 more suspicious accounts in the fake bank accounts case.

An FIA JIT, formed on the orders of the apex court, has been investigating a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.

Seven people, including Zardari and Faryal Talpur, were said to be involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through commissions and kickbacks.

While hearing a suo motu case regarding a delay in the FIA probe into the case, the SC had constituted a JIT to probe into the matter.

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.

It was also reported that 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.

Last month, Lawai and banker Taha Raza were detained and booked for allegedly facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.

Talpur had also obtained an interim pre-arrest bail in the case in the sum of Rs2 million.

Both the siblings are facing corruption charges relating to fake accounts and fictitious bank transactions worth Rs35 billion. Both Zardari and Talpur face allegations that they had illegally channelled funds through the said accounts in connivance with the chief executive officers of major banks.

In August, the siblings had also appeared before a joint investigation team of the FIA in Islamabad to record their statement in the multi-billion rupee money laundering and fake bank accounts case open against them.