NAB prepares cases against PPP leadership

Karachi: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday prepared to file 30 corruption references against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership in connection with money laundering case. The hearings against PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah and A.G Majeed will soon be started. Omni Group’s Chief Finance Officer Aslam Masood, who is an important witness in the undeclared bank accounts case, will be shifted to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia in one or two days. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing money laundering and fake bank accounts cases had suggested to file 16 references in its report. Earlier on December 24, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references. The report had mentioned that 29 fake accounts were identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs). All of these details were scrutinized, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals. The report further stated that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh Government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family. Later, the court had ordered Zardari to submit his reply by December 31, however, during the previous hearing extended his and his sister s interim bail till January 7. On September 6, the SC had formed a JIT to probe into alleged mega money laundering of Rs42 billion channeled through fake bank accounts in three banks. Besides the Zardari family, several prominent individuals including former Summit Bank president Hussain Lawai and Omni Group president Anwar Majeed, have been accused in the case. Property tycoon Malik Riaz, his son-in-law Zain, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have been also included in the inquiry.