Travel restrictions on two women in fake accounts case lifted

Updated April 18, 2019

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The IHC directs the interior ministry to lift travel restrictions on the women belonging to the family of Anwar Majeed. — AP/File
The IHC directs the interior ministry to lift travel restrictions on the women belonging to the family of Anwar Majeed. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday disposed of petitions filed by Noor Nimar Majeed and Sara Tareen Majeed against ban on their travelling abroad in contravention of the court orders.

The court, seized with the fake bank accounts case, had directed the interior ministry to lift travel restrictions on the women belonging to the family of Anwar Majeed, one of the suspects in the case. During a hearing last week, Justice Aamer Farooq had summoned the officials of the interior ministry and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over non-compliance of the court order.

On Wednesday, the additional director general of the FIA told the court that names of both the petitioners were on the provisional national identification list but they had now been cleared in the light of court’s order.

He informed the court that there were no restrictions on the petitioners at the moment and they were free to travel abroad.

Subsequently, the IHC disposed of the petitions.

The petitioners had approached the IHC seeking removal of their names from the no-fly list after the FIA stopped Ms Nimar from proceeding abroad from Karachi airport.

Her counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi argued before the IHC that his client was stopped by the FIA’s officials from boarding a flight from Jinnah International Airport and told that she was not allowed to leave the country as her family members were involved in a money laundering case.

The FIA restricted the movement of the Majeed family after a JIT constituted by the Supreme Court in the fake accounts case stated in a report that prima facie evidence brought on record during the investigations indicated that former president Asif Zardari and the Omni group had amassed assets through misappropriation of loans, government funds, kickbacks and proceeds of crime. It said the evidence suggested that the groups had a history of laundering their illegal proceeds abroad through illegal channels of Hundi and Hawala.

The report said the International Business and Shopping Centre (IBSC) project identified by the JIT to be a “Benami” of Mr Zardari held in the name of his then frontman Iqbal Memon (International Builders) was frozen in 1998.

The report also mentioned different assets owned by the Zardari Group like Opal 225 Saddar, Karachi, IBSC Saddar of Park Lane, farm houses in Tando Allahyar and Nawabshah, a set of houses in Clifton called Bilawal House, agricultural land, different properties owned by Faryal Talpur, different vehicles of Mr Zardari that belonged to Tosha Khana, including bullet-proof BMW 760, Lexus 570 and Mitsubishi SUV, and assets in foreign countries said to be held by the former president and Ms Talpur.

Likewise, the assets owned by the Omni Group and its directors included 16 sugar mills in different districts of Sindh, 19 power generation companies, farms, real estate and agricultural land, vehicles and bank accounts, the report added.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019