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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has summoned a number of individuals and heads of different business groups, including former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, on July 12 after their names appeared among the beneficiaries of suspicious transactions believed to be meant for money laundering.

In its order issued on Monday, the apex court directed the interior ministry to immediately place on the Exit Control List (ECL) the names of individuals identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as suspects to stop them from leaving the country till the completion of investigation or further orders.

The names are: Nasser Abdulla Lootah, Anwer Majeed, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Aslam Masood, Arif Khan, Ms Noreen Sultan, Ms Kiran Aman, Mohammad Iqbal Khan Noori, Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Iqbal Araen, Mohammad Umair, Adnan Jawed, Qasim Ali and Azam Wazir Khan.

Besides, the court summoned the chairmen of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on July 12.

Apex court orders placement of money laundering suspects’ names on ECL

The apex court took suo motu notice of the case that revolves around a 2015 probe into the suspicious transactions through 29 ‘benami’ accounts — 16 in the Summit Bank, eight in the Sindh Bank and five in the UBL. Seven individuals were said to be involved in suspicious transactions of around Rs35 billion. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai and Summit Bank’s corporate unit head Taha Raza have already been in FIA’s custody in the case.

Among the suspected beneficiaries, the apex court has summoned: Nasser Abdulla Lootah, Ansari Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd (Anwar Majeed, Ali Kamal Majeed), Omni Polymer Packages Pvt Ltd, Pak Ethnol Pvt Ltd, Chamber Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, M/s Agro Farms Thatta Pvt Ltd; Zardari Group Pvt Ltd (Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur), Parthenon Pvt Ltd (Iqbal Khan Noori), A-One International (account identified in Suspicious Transac­tion Report), Lucky Interna­tional (STR), Logistic Trading (STR), Royal International (STR) and Umair Associates (STR).

Likewise, those who reportedly deposited the money in the accounts were: Bahria Town Karachi (Zain Malik), Sujawal Agro Farms Pvt Ltd, Tando Allahyar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, Omni Pvt Ltd, Agro Farms Thatta Pvt Ltd, Alfa Zulu Co Pvt Ltd, Haji Mureed Akbar (banker on behalf of contractor), Sher Mohammad Mugheri & Co (contractor), M/s Sardar Mohammad Ashraf D. Baloch Pvt Ltd (contractor), A-One Interna­tional (STR), Lucky Inter­national (STR), Logistic Trading (I.I. Chundrigar) (STR), Iqbal Metals (STR), Royal International (STR) and Umair Associates (STR).

As per FIA director general Bashir Memon’s report, the persons/companies in whose names fake/fictitious accounts were opened are: Tariq Sultan (A-One International), Erum Aqeel (Ibrahim Linkers), Mohammad Ashraf (Logistic Trading), Mohammad Iqbal Araen (Iqbal Metals), Mohammad Umair (Umair Associates), Adnan Javed (Lucky International) and Qasim Ali (Royal International). They have also been summoned for July 12.

Besides, the apex court ordered the production of the presidents/CEOs of UBL, Summit Bank and Sindh Bank (including those in FIA’s custody) on Thursday.

The SC also requisitioned several cases from the Sindh High Court in this regard.

The court directed the State Bank of Pakistan to seize/ freeze the account in which Summit Bank had deposited Rs7 billion as equity and that the latter should not be allowed to withdraw the amount.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2018