ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on Tuesday has asked the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited to remove Hussain Lawai from the post of chairman of the Board of Directors of (PSX) immediately.

Lawai is currently in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a money laundering case worth of Rs35 billion. The FIA is investigating into case of 29 'fake accounts' found a nexus of at least ten people including bankers, politicians and businessmen allegedly having different roles as facilitators and beneficiaries.

According to the FIR registered against Lawai and others, billions of rupees were deposited into the said fake accounts and subsequently transferred to different accounts, including that of PPP Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur's company - Zardari Group - which is shown to have received Rs15 million.

Lawai was serving as chairman of the Board of Directors of PSX. The SECP has written as letter to Chief Executive Officers Pakistan Stock Exchange for removing Lawai from the post. "It has come to the knowledge of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (The Commission) that a First Information Report (FIR) dates July 6 2018 has been registered by FIA under Pakistan Penal Code read with Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 and the Anti Money Laundering Act 2010.  The said FIR, among other individuals, also nominates Lawai as one of the accused and Lawai has been arrested by FIA for further investigation," said the SECP letter.

The SECP after considering the circumstance as stated above with respect to Lawai in the interest of general public and the capital markets, in exercise of its power conferred under section 12 read with Section 170 of the Securities Act, 2015, herby directs PSX, through its Chief Executive officer, to immediately remove Lawai as chairman of the Board of Directors of PSX under intimation to the commission.

The SECP has also asked to appoint a new chairman of the board, while ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements.