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KARACHI: A businessman based in the United Kingdom (UK), Sarfaraz Merchant, on Friday surrendered himself before an accountability court in a case pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of land belonging to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

The National Accountability Bureau had booked Sarfaraz Merchant, Saleem Suriya, Muhammad Mujtaba and others over the 1992 allotment of 25 acres of the land belonging to the KWSB.

The accountability court concerned had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Merchant, Suriya and Mujtaba as the investigating officer declared them absconders in the present case.

On Friday, Merchant appeared before the accountability court concerned to surrender himself in the present case on the directives of the Sindh High Court.

The defence counsel submitted that a two-judge bench of the Sindh High Court, which had granted interim pre-arrest bail to his client on Nov 14 in the wake of non-bailable arrest warrants, had told Sarfaraz Merchant to surrender himself before the trial court and join the investigation in the present case.

Therefore, the defence pleaded to allow him to join the trial and investigation by the federal anti-graft watchdog.

Allowing his request, the judge directed the suspect to cooperate with the investigators.

The court repeated non-bailable arrest warrants for two absconders, Saleem Suriya and Muhammad Mujtaba, directing the IO to arrest them and produce in court on Dec 14.

On the complaint filed by Sarfaraz Merchant, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered a case pertaining to alleged money laundering against Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s London-based chief Altaf Hussain in Oct 2017.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2018