KARACHI/ISLAMABAD - A banking court in Karachi issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former president Asif Ali Zardari in money laundering case on Friday. The court also remanded Anwar Majeed and his son in the custody of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), until August 24.

The FIA investigation officer informed the court about the progress of ongoing investigation into a multi-billion money laundering case. He stated that the accused who were declared absconder had not attended a single hearing of the investigation process.

On the view of the IO report, the court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Asif Ali Zardari, Co-Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party and others. The court also directed the FIA to produce the accused before it by September 4.

The court also issued warrants for other accused including Arif Khan, Naseer Abdullah Hussain, Adnan Javed, Aslam Masood, Namar Majeed, Mohammad Umair, Iqbal, Azam Wazir Khan and Mustafa Zulqarnain.

However, PPP spokesperson Farhatullah Babar issued a statement in which he quoted Zardari's counsel Farooq H Naek as saying that no warrants against the former president have been issued.

On Friday’s hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency officials produced Zardari’s close aide, Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed who have been arrested from Islamabad two days earlier. The accused have been shifted to Karachi a day before.

The FIA pleaded the court to grant their two-week physical remand for further interrogation, but the defence lawyer, Farooq H Naek opposed the FIA plea and submitted that the challan of the case had already been submitted in the trail court, and there was no need for further interrogation.

The court sent the accused to the Federal Investigation Agency custody with the direction to produce them by August 25. The court also directed the prosecution to submit further investigation report in the next hearing.

On July 21, the Federal Investigation Agency had submitted an interim challan in a money laundry case relating to fake accounts and fictitious transactions worth Rs35 billion, wherein former President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur and 18 others had been declared absconders.

The case was initially registered against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, and other bankers for allegedly provide facilities for opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, where ‘beneficiaries of the Sindh government’ had deposited Rs35 billion that was subsequently transferred to different accounts.

According to the prosecution, more than 32 people have been involved in investigation in the connection of illegal money transaction through fake bank accounts.

The FIA official stated that least 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 is said to be black money which has been gathered via various kickbacks, commissions, and bribes.

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency had informed the court that officials had found 15 more accounts of A-One International, from which Rs 6 billion had been transacted.