NAB forms combined investigation team to probe fake accounts case

NAB forms combined investigation team to probe fake accounts case

Islamabad (Staff Report): The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday formed a combined investigation team to probe the mega money laundering scam.


The move comes in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the fake accounts suo motu case.

The apex court had directed NAB to conduct fresh investigation within two months and file references against the accused. The JIT had highlighted the top tier of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership including Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Zardari's close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe.

Former president's other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani, were also arrested by FIA whereas Majeed’s three other sons were granted interim bail.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in some banks from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources.

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

On December 21, a banking court in Karachi extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till January 7 in the ongoing money laundering case.

A JIT has been investigating the fake accounts recommended a legal course against some 415 key individuals and around 172 entities allegedly involved in transactions of approximately Rs220 billion through 104 fake accounts.

The JIT observed that either the investigation would be further referred to banking courts, NAB, FIA or it was up to the apex court to decide based on the JIT findings.

In a series of events in the fake accounts investigation, the JIT report also revealed a domestic worker of Zardari, with an estimated fortune of around Rs8.1 billion stashed into one of his fake accounts. Mushtaq Ahmed, 37, who once served as one of personal staff members of Zardari accumulated the wealth with Zain Malik through a joint fake account maintained in a private bank in Karachi during 2014-15, the report stated.