Updated Sep 06, 2018 11:11pm

FIA identifies two more companies linked with money laundering probe against Zardari

Haseeb Bhatti

Two more companies belonging to the Zardari Group have been identified in connection with the alleged laundering of billions of rupees, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.

PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, his sibling Faryal Talpur and several of their business associates are currently being probed as part of a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.

The FIA, in its progress report submitted in the SC today, claimed to have identified two additional companies — M/s Landmarks and National Gases (Pvt) Limited — tied up with the investigation.

The agency said it came to know of the two companies from a hard disk confiscated during last week's raid on Khoski Sugar Mills — an Omni Group-owned facility whose head Anwar Majeed is a close Zardari confidant.

The report said that M/s Landmark is a partnership firm between Zardari, Talpur and Azra Fazal, whereas M/s NGS has several members of the Majeed family holding key positions.

The FIA further said that it is analysing NGS's transactions and "its role in laundering of the money".

The agency also named five members of the Omni Group who, it claims, deposited funds into a Summit Bank account, after which the funds were routed to various banks in London.

The FIA further alleged that, in addition to conventional banking channels, funds were also laundered via Hawal/Hundi system for the purchase of moveable and immovable properties overseas.

Fake bank accounts case

Zardari siblings and their business aides face allegations that they illegally channelled funds through the said accounts to launder them in connivance with the CEOs of major banks.

The case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to former president Zardari.

Lawai is in judicial custody, whereas the FIA has been given the physical remand of Anwar Majeed and several others.

Zardari and siblings, meanwhile, have obtained pre-arrest bails, and according to the FIA reported submitted in the SC, have been handed questionnaires to respond to the allegations levelled against them.

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