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Rs54bn transferred through 107 fake bank accounts, SC told

Updated October 22, 2018

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JIT report identifies several bank accounts used in suspicious transactions that were opened for a brief period. — AFP/ File
JIT report identifies several bank accounts used in suspicious transactions that were opened for a brief period. — AFP/ File

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with probing fake bank accounts submitted a progress report in the Supreme Court on Monday which revealed that transactions of Rs54 billion were made through 107 fake bank accounts.

An FIA JIT had been investigating a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.

Seven individuals, including PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, were said to be involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks. While hearing a suo motu case regarding a delay in the FIA probe into the case, the SC had constituted a JIT to probe into the matter.

JIT head Ahsan Sadiq in his today's report said that several bank accounts used in suspicious transactions were opened for a brief period of time and were closed after transfer of money.

Sadiq told the court that the Sindh government appeared reluctant to cooperate with the team.

The report said the Sindh chief secretary, irrigation secretary and agriculture secretary had not cooperated with the JIT, to which Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said that the court would "summon all (these officials) by the evening".

The provincial government's counsel, however, told the court that the Sindh government had been cooperating with the JIT.

The JIT head assured the court that the team would identify the beneficiaries of the transactions.

He said that the team had found during its investigations that transactions were made through the fake accounts of rickshaw drivers and falooda vendors. As many as 36 companies associated with the Omni Group had been uncovered in the case.

The chief justice summoned the Sindh police chief in the next hearing on Oct 26 in Karachi.