Noose tightening around Asif Ali Zardari: Sources

Noose tightening around Asif Ali Zardari: Sources
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KARACHI: A judicial magistrate in Karachi remanded Hussain Lawai, a senior banker and close aide of former President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, till July 11 in the federal investigation agency’s custody in money laundering case.

Lawai, former chairman of the summit bank and Taha Raza head of the Corporate Unit were produced before the judge where FIA investigation officer told that the accused were involved in money laundering of billion of rupees. Anwar Majeed and others are also booked in the FIR which was earlier registered in the banking circle of the Federal Investigation Agency in Karachi.

The FIR divulges that a transaction of Rs 15,000,000 to Zardari Group, owned by Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Fayral Taplur.

According to case Number 04/2018 registered under section 419/420/486/471/109 PPC r/w CA1947 r/w 3& 4 AML act 2010, it was established during the course of FIA enquiry started upon receipt of Suspicious Transaction Report regarding 29 accounts, that 01 of the total 29 accounts bearing No. 1-2-28-20620-714-139111 in the title of A-One International sole proprietorship firm purportedly in the name of Tariq was fraudulently opened by using his CNIC.

“This account was subsequently used to place illegitimate funds for purpose of money laundering,” reads the FIR.

According to FIA the purported account holder Tariq Sultan denied to have opened the said account. In view of denial of Tariq Sultan, handwriting/signatures opinion was obtained vide No. 370/TW/FIA/2015 dated 17.11.2015 which corroborated the version of purported account holder Tariq Sultan and the signatures on bank documents are established to be forged.

In view of the record in respect of above bank account in the name of A-One International (Proprietor: Tariq Sultan), it has been revealed that Kiran Aman the then Operations Manager has admitted and verified the fake/forged signatures of account holder as genuine with mala-fide intention.

“Noreen Sultan the then Relationship Manager has admitted the forged signatures of account holder on annexure for change of signatures other than CNIC and Adeel Shah Rashidi the then Branch Manager has signed KYC and related documents for approval of account opening, deliberately in spite of the fact that bank record (KYC) shows that account belongs to Omni Group,” according to FIR.

According to FIA officials, Adeel Shah Rashidi disclosed that the documents were sent to Corporate Department for approval/consent where Taha Raza Unit Corporate Head sent back the documents with remarks “Referred by Hussain Lawai” and directions to open the account. Hence it is established that bankers have opened fake/forged accounts by fraudulently fulfilling the codal formalities i.e. obtaining signatures of account holder showing their presence, KYC and call report.

Noreen Sultan, Adeel Shah Rashidi and Kiran Aman disclosed that one Arif Khan, accountant of Omni Group was operating the said fake account which was also verified as per KYC that these accounts belong to Omni Group. It also transpired that Aslam Masood CFO Omni Group had provided the filled-in Account opening form duly signed for opening of forged account, FIA informs, adding Aslam Masood and AM Khan are the authorized signatories of accounts of Agro Farms Thatta Pvt. Ltd, the CEO of which is Anwar Majeed

From the perusal of the account statement it was found that during a short span of 10 months (6-3-2914 to 12-1-2015) a sum of Rs. 4.5Billion was credited and routed through this account, in which Rs750, 000,000 were deposited from the account of M/S Bahria Town Karachi project and Zain Malik.

M/S Zardari Group (Asif All Zardari, Faryal Talpur etc) is one of the beneficiaries of Rs4.145billion and has got Rs15, 000,000, according to FIR.

It is pertinent to mention here that opening of bogus account, placement of illegitimate funds in it, layering of funds in different accounts and integration of funds in shape of reporting of equity of Summit Bank to State Bank of Pakistan are the major indicators of Money Laundering. Naseer Abdulla Lootah (Chairman Summit Bank, a UAE National, presently out of country) and Hussain Lawai, the then President (now vice-chairman) of Summit Bank have been found instrumental in laundering of money.

From the record of SECP, it transpired that Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed are the directors of various companies of M/S Omni Group of Industries. It is further established that the alleged Persons namely Anwar Majeed S/o Abdul Maid and Abdul Ghani Majeed got opened fake bank account# 1-2-28-20524714-139111 through Taha Raza and Hussain Lawai (both of Summit Bank) with the fake/forged signatures Through their associate(s) namely Aslam Masood s/0 Masood-ul-Haq Malik and Muhammad Arif Khan S/o Abdul Wadood impersonating as Tariq Sultan s/o Sultan Ahmed in connivance with bankers namely (i) Noreen Sultan the then Relationship Manager (ii) Kiran Aman, the then Operation Manager, and (iii) Adeel Shah Rashid’, the then Branch Manager all of Summit Bank Ltd, Kh-e-Tanzeem Branch for routing billions of funds. Enquiry regarding remaining 28 accounts mentioned in STR is still underway, FIA report reads.

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