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Seven banks told to let FIA probe 27 accounts of MQM leaders, KKF

Updated April 21, 2019

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The judge directed the heads of the seven banks to provide the requisite record as requested by the FIA’s investigating officer from the bank accounts mentioned in the application. — AFP/File
The judge directed the heads of the seven banks to provide the requisite record as requested by the FIA’s investigating officer from the bank accounts mentioned in the application. — AFP/File

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Saturday directed seven private banks to provide the record of 27 accounts reportedly operated by some Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders, their relatives and its charity wing, Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation, to the Federal Investigation Agency for investigation into a money laundering case.

London-based MQM founder Altaf Hussain along with other party leaders — including former federal minister Babar Ghauri, former senator Ahmed Ali, Karachi’s former deputy mayor Arshad Vohra, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor and his brother Khawaja Rehan Mansoor — has been booked in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering.

On Saturday, the ATC-II judge allowed an application filed by the FIA under Section 94 (summons to produce documents or other things) of the CrPC, seeking direction for some banks to provide the requisite record of 27 bank accounts of the KKF, its trustees as well as the suspects and their relatives.

The judge directed the heads of the seven banks including Standard Chartered, Allied, Al-Falah, Habib Metropolitan and the Muslim Commercial banks to provide the requisite record as requested by the FIA’s investigating officer from the bank accounts mentioned in the application.

However, the court adjourned till April 29 hearing on another application of the FIA seeking permission to interrogate and arrest the suspects, their relatives and others under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), 2010 and also to search certain places in Karachi and confiscate the material, if any, found related to the matter.

It also adjourned till April 29 hearing on an application moved by Mr Ahmed Ali seeking confirmation of an interim pre-arrest bail granted to him since the applicant could not appear due to his ailment.

According to a progress report, investigations had uncovered that the KKF had five local bank accounts, but allegedly only three of them were audited.

The report further mentioned that around Rs500 million had been allegedly transferred from an account of the KKF to the MQM’s account from 2013 onwards.

FIA’s special public prosecutor Bakhtiar Channa said the KKF was tasked with meeting expenditures of Altaf Hussain, his London secretariat and all party leaders during their visits to London and each visitor was given around 5,000 pounds in cash to deposit in the London secretariat.

It was told that 14 accounts had been used for conversion of local currency into 2,056,000 pounds during three and a half years.

Similarly, 1,400,000 pounds were allegedly converted from local currency deposited in three accounts in the name of Khawaja Sohail Mansoor and one in the name of his company Kolachi International, the prosecutor added.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2019