Apex court forms JIT to probe fake bank accounts case

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has constituted a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the fake bank accounts case.

“We constitute the following JIT for the purpose of conducting a thorough investigation into the matter of fake bank accounts subject matter of these proceedings to get to the truth, uncover the persons involved and collect all material evidence for the purpose of ensuring that in case an offence is made,” reads the top court order in this regard.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, issued these directives while hearing the case with regard to money laundering of Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts.

Six members of the JIT, headed by Additional Director General (Economic Crime Wing) FIA Headquarters Ahsan Sadiq, include Commissioner-IR (Corporate Zone) Regional Tax Office Imran Latif Minhas, Joint Director BID-I State Bank of Pakistan Majid Hussain, Director National Accountability Bureau Noman Aslam, Muhammad Afzal, Director (Specialized Companies Division) Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Brigadier Shahid Parvez of Inter-Services Intelligence.

The top court has barred the JIT from providing any information to the media in this regard.

It has rendered the JIT high powers for inquiries and investigations including those available in the Code of Criminal Procedure, National Accountability Ordinance, Federal Investigation Agency Act, 1974, and the anti corruption laws.

All executive authorities or agencies in the country are directed to provide assistance and support to the JIT in its working.

“The JIT shall submit periodic reports before this Court qua the progress made in the investigation on fortnightly basis under sealed cover,” reads the court order.

While, first report of the JIT will be submitted within 15 days of the court order.

The court has directed Pakistan Rangers to provide adequate and effective security to the investigators and witnesses involved in the case.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned till September 24.

The case background

Former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur were among over a dozen suspects declared absconders in the money-laundering scam.

In the FIA list, Anwar Majeed and his son’s names appeared on top of the list while those of Zardari and Talpur were on the 19th and 20th number, respectively.

According to the FIR registered by FIA, transactions of billions of rupees were made into suspicious accounts, including the one owned by the PPP leaders, the Zardari Group, which is accused of receiving Rs 15 million of the laundered money.

Two days after being declared an absconder in a money-laundering scam, Faryal Talpur obtained pre-arrest bail from the Sindh High Court.

Ms Talpur filed a petition in the SHC Larkana circuit bench seeking pre-arrest bail.

In December 2016, the Pakistan Rangers conducted raids at the Karachi office of the Omni Group of Companies and the residence of its owner Anwar Majeed, a close aid of Zardari, and confiscated record allegedly related with money laundering.

Via ARY