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Money laundering probe: Bilawal receives another questionnaire from JIT

Updated December 06, 2018

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It was the second notice being sent to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.—DawnNewsTV screengrab
It was the second notice being sent to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.—DawnNewsTV screengrab

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has been served another notice by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted to probe into money laundering allegations against PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and others, party representatives told DawnNewsTV on Thursday.

The notice, asking the party chairman to submit replies to a questionnaire, has been received and Bilawal will respond to the JIT after consultation with his legal team, the PPP office-bearers said.

It was the second notice being sent to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. Earlier, the JIT had sent the PPP chairman a questionnaire containing queries about his bank accounts.

Later in the day, PPP leader Sherry Rehman held a presser to condemn the government for what she called "witch-hunt against the opposition".

Rahman highlighted that the first notice was issued after Bilawal's political convention in Gilgit-Baltistan while the recent one was issued after the Sukkur convention.

She added that PPP was not afraid of accountability. She said while criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government that the parliament was being ignored.

The PPP leader alleged that the ruling regime in Islamabad was running its affairs like a dictatorship.

"Instead of bringing the country out of the prevailing crises, the government is declaring that they will increase the golf [between the govt and the opposition]."

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur had already appeared before the JIT. Zardari had told the investigators that he has not been involved in any business activity since 2008.

The JIT was formed on the orders of the Supreme Court in October 2018 to probe alleged laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts in connivance with bankers and others to allegedly benefit several people, including Zardari and Talpur.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been investigating a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.

Seven individuals, including Zardari, were said to be involved in using the fake accounts for suspicious transactions that were said to amount to tens of billions of rupees. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.