KARACHI – A banking court issued on Friday arrest warrants for Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, an absconder in a money-laundering case.
The court issued the warrants against 15 absconders, including Zardari, on the request of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) while hearing the case related to shady transactions worth Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts.
The court has ordered the FIA to present the suspects on September 4 after arresting them. The development would land the Zardari, who recently elected as member of National Assembly in July 25 elections, into troubled waters.
During the hearing, Anwar Majeed, a close aide and an alleged frontman of former president, and his son Abdul Ghani were produced in the court by the FIA.
The father-son duo was nabbed on the directives of the Supreme Court on August 15 as the money laundering probe was widened.
The investigators asked the court send the suspects on physical remand for further interrogation and the request was approved.
The court remaned Majid and his son into FIA custody for seven days and ordered it to present a report in the case at the next hearing.
The FIA also submitted a list of accused persons, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, to the banking court in which the former president was declared an absconder. Talpur has secured a bail from the banking court till September 4.
A session court in Karachi had declared Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur absconders in the case while Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed along with his son Abdul Ghani were arrested from Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, and their associates are accused of transferring Rs35 billion abroad through 29 fake accounts after which, their names were placed on Exit Control List (ECL).
Hussain Lawai, chairman of Pakistan Stock Exchange, and his associates are accused of opening the bogus accounts in the Summit Bank and United Bank of Pakistan Limited.
The Federal Investigation Agency has prepared a report, revealing that more than 10 political personalities were allegedly involved in fictitious transactions.
Zardari had been asked to appear before the apex court, however, he did not show up and instead his lawyer Farook H Naik clarified his position before Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
The top court has also hinted at the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.