Malik Riaz claims Icon Tower land was bought lawfully


Business magnate Malik Riaz on Monday tweeted that he purchased the land for Bahria Icon Tower on the coast of Arabian Sea in Karachi through a cross cheque payment.

Referring to a Supreme Court (SC) mandated investigation against his son-in-law, Zain Malik, on money laundering charges, he claimed that there was no irregularity or illegality involved in the purchase. He also said that the court has summoned him and his son-in-law merely on matters of purchase and they will both present themselves in court with “clean hands”.

Moreover, he added that payments for Opal 224, Bahria Town’s luxury high rise complex, were made in pursuance of a joint venture agreement and are reflected in tax returns as well as audit accounts of Bahria Town Pvt limited.

On Monday, the top court barred the trading and transfers of the properties of the Zardari Group, Bahria Town and Omni Group after a report submitted by a joint investigation team (JIT) held them responsible in a mega money laundering and fake accounts case.

The court also threatened the Bahria Town owner with arrest if he does not appear in court.

Malik Riaz’s son-in-law Zain Malik and 14 other bankers and businessmen have been booked in the case pertaining to alleged laundering of Rs4.14 billion through 29 fake bank accounts, while Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza, Anvar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed have been detained for their alleged involvement in facilitating the transactions.

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

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 the FIA, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.