Hussain Lawai remanded into FIA custody until July 11 in money laundering case

Published July 7, 2018
Hussain Lawai appeared before a judicial magistrate in Karachi on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Hussain Lawai appeared before a judicial magistrate in Karachi on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

A judicial magistrate in Karachi on Saturday remanded Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai and co-accused Taha Raza in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) until July 11 in a money laundering case.

On Friday, the FIA had detained Lawai and Raza, accusing them of facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.

According to the FIR registered against Lawai and Raza, billions of rupees were deposited into the said fake accounts and subsequently transferred to different accounts, including that of PPP Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur's company — Zardari Group — which is shown to have received Rs15 million.

As per the contents of the report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the biggest transfer made out of the alleged fake accounts was to an Arab national, Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah, who is the chairman of the Summit Bank’s board of directors.

Agro Farms Thatta, a reported holding of Zardari's close aide Anwar Majeed, is also mentioned as one of the beneficiaries.

The FIR stated that the accused bankers "opened fake/forged accounts by fraudulently fulfilling the codal formalities i.e. obtaining signatures".

Furthermore, it alleged that a sum of Rs4.5 billion was credited and routed through the accounts during a span of 10 months.

The FIA identified Bahria Town Karachi and Omni Pvt Ltd among the 15 parties that had made deposits totaling Rs2.855 billion into the aforesaid accounts.

The FIR said that the beneficiaries into whose accounts the monies were routed have been issued summons.

'I am innocent'

In a brief chat with media personnel, Lawai maintained his innocence and said he would ask for relief from the court on account of his medical condition. "I have nothing to do with this case. Nothing has been recovered from me," he said.

"This case is about money laundering; those who did this [money laundering] are abroad, and I have been accused."

"I am a heart patient. I will also ask the court to give me medical relief," he added.

When asked if he had been arrested due to his rumoured friendship with Zardari, Lawai said: "I do not know if I have been arrested because of Asif Ali Zardari or something else. Only time will tell why I am being targeted."

Who is Hussain Lawai?

Lawai, who is currently the vice chairman of the Summit Bank, also served as its president from 2008 to 2016. He previously served as the Central Depository Company (CDC) chairman as well.

He held the position of president and CEO at the MCB Bank and holds the distinction of establishing the Faysal Islamic Bank, Pakistan branches; the first Islamic Shariah Compliant Bank (presently known as Faysal Bank Limited). He also served as general manager at Emirates NBD Bank for Pakistan and Far East.

Currently, Lawai is also on the board of directors of Wyeth Pakistan Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Pakistan Ltd and The Searle Company Ltd. He also serves on the Board of Governors of Karachi Grammar School and Virtual University of Pakistan.

He also served on the board of directors of Pakistan International Airlines and State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan.

He did his MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...