KARACHI: A banking court extended on Saturday the physical remand of Abdul Ghani Majeed for three days to the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency for investigation and interrogation in an alleged money laundering case.
Anwar Majeed, a businessman and close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed have been arrested and booked in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering of Rs4.14 billion through 29 ‘fake’ bank accounts.
Last week, the banking court judge remanded them in FIA custody till August 25.
On Saturday, the investigating officer (IO) produced Abdul Ghani Majeed before the link judge of the banking court upon expiry of his physical remand and requested for its extension.
The special prosecutor informed the court that the suspect was involved in alleged money laundering of Rs4.14bn through fake bank accounts and sought more time to investigate the matter. Therefore, he requested for extension in physical custody of Abdul Ghani Majeed in FIA custody.
However, the IO informed the court that physical remand of co-accused Anwar Majeed was not required as he was admitted to hospital since Aug 17 and he could not be interrogated due to his health condition.
The defence counsel for Abdul Ghani opposed the IO’s request for extension in his physical remand, alleging that his client was being harassed and subjected to torture in custody.
On a court’s query, the suspect complained that he was being interrogated during night and tortured due to which he was suffering from internal bleeding.
The link judge extended physical remand of Abdul Ghani Majeed in FIA’s custody till Aug 27 and directed to produce him on the next date. The judge also ordered the FIA authorities to get him physically examined and submit a medical report.
In July, the FIA detained former chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Hussain Lawai and banker Taha Raza and booked them for allegedly facilitating the opening of the 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.
Hussain Lawai and other bankers were accused of facilitating opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, through which suspicious transactions were made to the bank accounts of different personalities and entities.
In the interim charge-sheet filed on July 21, the names of Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur appeared among 20 individuals who were beneficiaries of such alleged suspicious transactions, and the FIA named them as absconders.
Later, Ms Talpur obtained an interim pre-arrest bail in the case in the sum of Rs2 million. Last week, the trial court ordered reissuance of non-bailable warrants for arrest of all the absconders, including Asif Zardari. It ordered that all the suspects be presented before the court by Sept 4.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2018