ISLAMABAD: Khawaja Anvar Majeed, the chairman of the Omni Group of Companies and one of the accused in the Rs35 billion fake accounts scam, has pleaded with the Supreme Court to drop the case since a trial court is already seized with a similar case.
“The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has already submitted interim charge-sheet No 12 of 2018 on July 21, 2018 against the applicant,” says a four-page application moved through senior counsel Shahid Hamid and his daughter Ayesha Hamid on behalf of Anwar Majeed.
Earlier in his report the FIA had alleged that the major amounts into the 29 suspicious bank accounts were deposited by Omni Group of Anvar Majeed and Family, Bahria Town (Zain Malik) and the government contractors (Sardar Ashraf and Sher Mohammad Mugheeri) as suspected kickback money which the FIA is investigating, the report said.
Says special court is already seized with a similar case against him
A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will resume the hearing of the fake accounts case on Monday (Aug 13) that revolves around a 2015 inquiry into the suspicious transactions when 29 ‘benami’ accounts were identified of which 16 were opened in the Summit Bank, eight in the Sindh Bank and five in the United Bank Ltd. Seven individuals were found involved in transacting suspiciously Rs35bn. Already Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, said to be a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, and co-accused Taha Raza, Unit Corporate Head of the Summit Bank, are under FIA arrest.
On Aug 4, Faryal Talpur, sister of Asif Zardari, had approached the Supreme Court to seek a restraining order against the FIA from harassing, disparaging and defaming her as well as her brother’s reputation.
On Saturday, Anvar Majeed through his application explained that the Special Court (Offences in respect of Banks), Karachi, is seized with a case against him under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.
Mr Majeed remains the chairman of Omni Group but because of his advancing years and failing health, currently he has no executive responsibilities, the application explained, adding that any observation of the Supreme Court may prejudice his rights since the trial before the special court was likely to commence shortly.
Mr Majeed, who is currently abroad, stated in his application that he will return to Pakistan to face the trial and to prove his innocence before the special court.
He regretted that FIA has embarked upon a campaign of systematic harassment by getting their properties and attaching the bank accounts of the Omni Group of Companies.
He pleaded with the court to order the FIA to furnish the final charge-sheet so that he can return and face the consequential judicial proceedings.
At present, the interim charge-sheet of July 21 and FIR No. 4 of July 6 cover all the 29 alleged fake accounts, he highlighted, adding that the deposits made into alleged fake accounts were not the proceeds of crime. Rather the amounts are bona fide business transactions which will be finally accounted for in the trial court, he argued.
The applicant highlighted that not a single allegation had been levelled in the charge-sheet or the FIR registered against him that any of the amount had been laundered abroad.
Much media hype had been created against the applicants by repeated mention of the figure of Rs35bn, when the charge-sheet alleged that Rs238.446 million was credited to the fake accounts by the applicants as well as Rs20m by Abdul Ghani Majid, adding that the FIA report suggests that inter-account transfers were in billions and that very large amounts were paid into these accounts not by Omni Group but by Bahria Town and others.
The FIA never provided any evidence in the charge-sheet that the deposits mostly through cheques were black money, the applicant said, adding that these accounts were closed or become non-operative in 2015.
The applicant requested the court to restrain FIA from attachment of his personal properties and the accounts of Omni Group, otherwise it will paralyse the entire business activity and render thousands of employees jobless.
Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2018