Former president Asif Ali Zardari submitted his reply before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) via his legal team today pertaining to the Rs 35 billion money-laundering scam.

Sources reported that two junior counsels of the former president’s lawyer, Farooq Naek, appeared before the FIA State Bank Circle and submitted the reply. 

According to the reply, which has been submitted, Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur will appear before the Investigative Agency after the July 25 general elections as both are contesting in the upcoming polls. 

Earlier, senior lawyers have suggested former president Asif Ali Zardari to not appear before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the money laundering scam.

Former president was briefed by senior leaders of PPP including Farooq Naik, Latif Khosa, Aitzaz Ahsan and Nayyar Bokhari on the case. According to the sources, they advised him against appearing before the FIA. 

Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, have been summoned at 10 am today to record their statements in the money laundering case.

FIA summons Zardari, Talpur 

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) issued notices on July 10 to former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur and summons them in money-laundering scam.  

Zardari and Talpur have been summoned on July 11 to record their statements in the money launderingcase of Rs 35 billion against them. 

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Inspector, Muhammad Ali, issued notices to the siblings to appear before FIA’s State Bank Circle in Karachi.  

On Monday, the names of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman and his sister were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) on Supreme Court's orders, according to sources.

Moreover, Supreme Court of Pakistan has also summoned Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman and his sister along with 20 others on July 12 in relation to the money-laundering case.

Inspector General (IG) Sindh, Amjad Javid Saleemi,  has been directed by the Supreme Court to ensure their presence for the hearing.

Prior to this, on July 6, the FIA arrested Stock Exchange of Pakistan chairman Hussain Lawai, who is considered to be a close friend of Zardari. The FIA officials maintain that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.

Earlier, in last week, the FIA had registered a case in Karachi over a money-laundering scandal of Rs 35 billion said to implicate politicians, businessmen and bankers.

Moreover the FIA has constituted a seven-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the matter. The team will be headed by Addition Director General FIA Dr Najaf Mirza.

The JIT includes Director FIA Punjab Dr Usman Anwar, Director FIA Sindh Muneer Ahmed Sheikh, Additional Director Banking Circle Karachi Faizullah Korejo, Deputy Director FIA Sindh Ali Mardan Khoso and two deputy directors of FIA Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Ahmed and Khalid Anis.

The JIT team will be able to get assistance from any additional member and will probe fake bank accounts.

The probe was started by the Investigation Agency when the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a 'suspicious transaction report' in January this year regarding ten bank accounts.

According to the details almost 20 'benami' accounts at a private bank were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees' were made. The amount, according to the FIA, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.

However, despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported them to the authorities concerned including the FIA. 

On July 8, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered to place the names of heads of three private banks involved in the scam on the ECL. The order came as Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, took notice of the slow pace of inquiry into the case.

Then, the Supreme Court has summoned seven fake bank account holders and 13 beneficiaries on July 12.