Fake bank accounts case: Trio accused in JIT report reject findings, claim innocence

Published December 29, 2018
Bahria Town's Zain Malik says JIT report is based on "surmises, conjectures and assumptions". — File photo
Bahria Town's Zain Malik says JIT report is based on "surmises, conjectures and assumptions". — File photo

Zain Malik, Abdul Ghani Majeed and Anwar Majeed, three of the several suspects in the fake bank accounts case, on Saturday rejected the findings of a report compiled by the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the scam.

The JIT report had claimed that Zain, the son-in-law of property tycoon Malik Riaz, maintained Bahria Town accounts through which about Rs10.2bn were allegedly laundered.

Zain, in his response in the Supreme Court today, rejected the JIT's claim, saying that its report had "misread and misconceived" the documents provided by Bahria Town.

According to Zain's response, Bahria Town had entered into a joint venture with Zardari Group, that owned a plot measuring 6,813.74 square yards in Karachi's "prime commercial area" and was "ideal for development as a building project which would include hotels, shops, offices and residential flats".

The reply refutes claims that Bahria Town had awarded Rs1.2bn to the Zardari Group as kickbacks, adding that "the manner and mode in which Zardari Group utilised the sum of Rs1.22bn has neither any nexus nor Bahria Town is responsible for the same".

Furthermore, JIT's allegation that Bahria Icon Tower was built on controversial land and encroached upon a large portion of the Bin Qasim Park were also rejected as "based on surmises, conjectures and assumptions".

Omni Group's Anwar and Abdul Ghani, meanwhile, said that the JIT report did not include records that it was given, and neither did it mention the names of the 924 people whose statements were recorded.

The response said that the JIT had no "basis" to recommend that the case be sent to the National Accountability Bureau for investigation.

SC orders to freeze all bank accounts mentioned in JIT

The Supreme Court on Saturday issued an interim order in the fake accounts case, directing authorities to take all the relevant bank accounts' record into their custody and submit the same before the court.

The apex court also ordered to freeze all bank accounts mentioned in the JIT report regarding the ongoing fake accounts case.

The sale and purchase of all properties mentioned in the report — including Bahria Icon, Opal 225 and Park Lane — have also been prohibited by the court. Moreover, the court also placed a ban on sale or purchase of any property which was directly or indirectly associated with the case.



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