Islamabad - Five men accused of multibillion rupees Mudaraba scandal were arrested yesterday after a division bench of Islamabad High Court turned down their bail pleas.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities arrested the five accused including Mufti Ehsanul Haq and Ghulam Rasool Ayubi when the dual bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Athar Minallah rejected their bail petitions.

Mufti Ehsan is an accused of cheating public at large to the tune of Rs 8.5 billion while Ghulam Rasool Ayubi, who ran a grocery store chain in various cities, had deprived people of over Rs 2.8 billion.

According to allegations the accused gathered money from various people on the pretext of Islamic investment and halal profit. For some months they paid profit to the people and later they stopped payment of profit and also did not return the amount to the people.

The corruption references against the accused were pending before the accountability court of Islamabad. Earlier accountability court had dismissed their bail applications and then, they approached the IHC for seeking bail.

An IHC bench had granted interim bails to the accused on September 16, 2015 directing them to pay back liabilities within 20 months and deposit Rs 100 million as the first instalment. But the accused neither produced payment schedule nor deposited first instalment and hence their bails were dismissed.

There are around 15,000 victims who filed applications with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in 2013 and 2014, claiming that the accused robbed them under an Islamic investment (Mudaraba) scheme.

In a separate matter, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah deferred hearing in a petition where custom authorities have challenged a trial court’s decision of handing over passport to model girl Ayyan Ali.

During the hearing, the IHC bench was informed that counsel for customs authorities is busy in the Supreme Court of Pakistan while legal counsel for Ayyan Ali, Sardar Lateef Khosa is busy in Lahore in some different court cases and could not appear before the court.

The IHC bench directed the counsels from both sides to ensure their presence before the court on the next date of hearing and adjourned the matter till next week.

The next date of hearing the counsels will be argue on the maintainability of the case.

It was December 4 when custom authorities had filed this petition through Farhat Nawaz Lodhi Advocate seeking court’s directions to revoke the trial court’s November 25 decision handing over passports to Ayyan Ali.

Customs authorities in the petition has adopted that the name of Ayyan is already included at exist control list (ECL).

Her passport is a proof in currency smuggling case and there were apprehension that she could flee out of country through illegal means.

They had confiscated the passport of Ayyan after arresting her on the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on March 14, 2015.