Won’t spare anyone convicted of money laundering, CJP tells DG FIA in high-profile probe

  • Court will award accused a certificate of honesty if nothing substantial is found against them: CJP

ISLAMABAD – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)  has submitted a report on Monday on alleged money laundering to the tune of Rs35 billion in the Supreme Court (SC).

During the hearing of the high-profile case involving former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, the Chief justice, Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that they would not let anyone utilize the money collected through felonious means.

On the occasion, the director general of FIA, Bashir Memon appeared before the court and Justice Nisar expressed that if the official is found guilty of making an illegitimate case against the accused, he would be punished.

Those facing inquiry list should clear themselves of the charges, advised the top judge.

In his statement, FIA chief said more than 10 political personalities are allegedly involved in fictitious transactions through fake bank accounts.

Two of the primary accused are former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, who were summoned multiple times but failed to appear before the investigation team, he said.

The top judge warned Farooq Naik, the counsel for PPP leaders, of consequences if the accused are found guilty of gathering illegal money.

To this, Naik replied that what would happen if the investigative agency found nothing in the case to which CJP Nisar clarified that the court will award them a certificate of honesty if nothing substantial is found against them.

Money-laundering scam: FIA summons Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur on August 4

Justice Umer Ata Bandial said that we want an answer from Omni group and others involved in money laundering scam.

During the course of proceedings, a former worker of the private bank also recorded her statement in court and said she was being threatened by police.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar directed the concerned departments to provide complete information about the bank accounts’ owners.

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) decided to approach the Supreme Court over non-appearance of Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur before the joint investigation team (JIT), probing a Rs35 billion money laundering case.

On August 1, the FIA had issued notices to Zardari and Talpur to appear before a JIT in Islamabad on Saturday but the duo again failed to appear before the team.

FIA investigates Hussain Lawai in money laundering case

Earlier, Talpur also demanded the removal of the head of a joint investigation team formed on the FIA’s directives to probe money-laundering allegations against them.

Citing reservations against JIT head Najaf Mirza, Talpur’s counsel Farooq H. Naik petitioned the FIA to replace him and constitute a new investigative team to probe the matter.

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money-laundering from fictitious accounts, under which Zardari’s close aide and then-Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai was also arrested earlier this month.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at a private bank were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made according to the details unearthed.

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