Interior ministry denies placing Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur on Stop list

  • Naseer Abdullahd, Anwar Majeed and five others have been placed on Stop List
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The interior ministry has denied placing Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on a no-fly list, hours after speculations about the travel restrictions.

Rejecting reports pertaining to the siblings being placed on a “stop list”, Interior Minister Azam Khan denied the existence of any such register, saying there is no stop list, as he concluded a standing committee on interior affairs.

Earlier, the local media reported that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had imposed travel restriction on former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other after the apex court ruling in the fake accounts case.

Local media reports claimed that names of Pakistan Peoples Party leaders, Naseer Abdullahd, head of a private bank, Anwar Majeed, a close aide of Zardari, and five others have been put on a temporary Stop List, which is maintained alongside the Exit Control List (ECL) to bar ‘wanted criminal’ persons from fleeing the country.

A final decision to put their names on the ECL will be taken after the approval of an FIA’s committee, it was said.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday heard the case related to money laundering scam involving Rs35 billion.

Money laundering case: Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman remanded into FIA custody

The apex court directed the names of the people mentioned in a list compiled by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), should be put on the no-fly list.

The FIA informed the court that there are seven account holders and 13 beneficiaries. The account holders include Tariq Sultan, Irum Aqeel, Mohammad Ashraf, Iqbal Arain, Mohammad Umair, Adnan Javed and Qasim Ali, Geo TV reported.

According to the FIA’s list, the beneficiaries of the account are former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister, Faryal Talpur, Nasir Abdullah, Omni Polymer Packages, Pak Ethanol Private Limited, Ansari Sugar Mills, Chimber Sugar Mills, Agro Farm Thatta, Parthenon Private Limited, A1 International, Lucky International, Logistic Trading, Royal International and Umair Associate.

The court also summoned chief executive officers of Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL as well as officials of the State Bank of Pakistan in the next hearing set to be held on coming Thursday. The court also directed State Bank of Pakistan to furnish necessary information to FIA.

On July 5, the top court took suo motu notice of slow inquiry into the fake bank accounts case.

HUSSAIN LAWAIN IN FIA’s CUSTODY

The Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman and a close friend of former president Asif Zardari, Hussain Lawai, was taken into custody on Friday. A local magistrate sent him on remand until July 11.

Money laundering scam: SC orders to place Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur and others on ECL

The FIA grilled Lawai over his alleged involvement in the money-laundering scam involving billions of rupees. Lawai was summoned for investigation by FIA banking circle on Friday morning.

According to FIA sources, Lawai is accused of operating more than two dozen benami accounts to launder billions of rupees abroad.

Twenty-nine accounts belonging to seven people have been used to launder around Rs35 billion in Sindh, according to the FIA, which is being called the ‘biggest money laundering case in Sindh’.

Lawai was also reportedly stopped at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport to leave the country last month over allegedly dubious banking transactions.

The amount is black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes. But despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported to the authorities concerned including FIA.