ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday granted bail to leading bankers Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza in fake bank accounts and Park Lane references.
The names of close aides to former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari had surfaced in a report prepared by a joint investigation team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that investigated the fake accounts case.
They were behind bars since June 2018. Hamid Ali Shah and Syed Ashfaq Hussain Naqvi represented them before the IHC.
IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri also granted post-arrest bail to Mohammad Umair, another accused in the fake bank accounts case.
Close aides to Asif Zardari were behind bars since June 2018
The investigation into money laundering charges involving billions of rupees was started in December 2015. The JIT revealed that suspicious transactions of about Rs37 billion had been made through 29 fake accounts of seven companies in the Sindh and Summit banks.
Contractor companies working with the Sindh government deposited money in the accounts of companies which later proved to be fictitious.
Later these amounts were not only transferred into the accounts of Omni Group, a bank official and the Zardari Group, but personal expenses of important persons of the PPP were also paid from them, the sources alleged.
In December 2017, the investigations were opened once again and the Financial Monitoring Unit that probes money laundering charges issued a report of suspicious transactions. The FIA formally started its investigations afterwards.
Lawai and Raza are facing charges of corruption, corrupt practices and money laundering. They have been accused of extending fraudulent facility to Parthenon (Pvt) Ltd, which was availed through misrepresentation; as the real beneficiary was Park Lane Estate (Pvt) Ltd, a company of Zardari Group.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021