ISLAMABAD - The Joint Investigating Team probing the alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees through fake bank accounts has requested the National Accountability Bureau for provision of investigation record of Zardari Group (Pvt) Ltd, if any, since 2008 till date, revealed the JIT progress report submitted to the top court.

The JIT also expanded its probe and requested Sindh chief secretary for provision of details of all contracts awarded to contractors by departments of Communication and Works (C&W) and Irrigation Department since 2008, the report further revealed.

A 29-page report submitted by JIT head Ehsan Sadiq revealed that ‘Role of government contractors, particularly Sardar Ashraf Baloch and Sher Mugheri needs thorough probe in relation to award and execution of government contracts involving public office holders and provincial public servants’.

“As such, the canvass of the investigation is expanding day by day; nonetheless the JIT is striving hard to accomplish the task assigned to it by the Supreme Court in earnest while observing the legal requirements and complying with the highest standard of investigation”, the report said.

The JIT also noticed that National Bank of Pakistan facilitated six business entities of Omni Group in withdrawal of huge amounts from their 10 different accounts despite having received notice by the FIA issued by Investigation Officer and seizure of accounts on top court’s order.

The JIT directed the IO to file complaint under section 5(6) of FIA Act 1974 in the court against NBP officials responsible for the violation of notice, the report added.

The report stated that cases of some entities/ individuals being probed by the JIT were also being dealt by NAB. The JIT has requested NAB to provide details of 34 such entities if their matters have been probed into at any stage since 2008 till date.

The report further mentioned 33 new suspicious accounts all opened in Karachi. 12 accounts were opened in the name of Adnan Javed, 7 accounts in the name of Iqbal Linkers, 3 accounts in the name of Iqbal Metals, 6 accounts in the name of Lucky International, 2 accounts of Muhammad Ashraf, 1 account in the name of Iqbal Arain, Erum Aqeel and Umair Associates each. These accounts are opened in different banks including Faysal Bank, Bank Al Habib, JS Bank, Summit Bank, Habib Metro Bank and others.

The report further submitted the names and particulars of 210 individuals and entities who are creditors and beneficiaries. List of 47 subsidiary companies of Omni Group, identified from Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue has also been submitted in the top court.

It stated that 24 accused had been identified so far. Four accused have been arrested by the FIA and are in judicial custody. 10 accused have been granted pre-arrest bail while 2 lady officers of Summit Bank have filed their applications for recording of their statements.

The report maintained that 5 accused were out of country and In-charge of FIA SBC Karachi had been directed to move INTERPOL for issuance of their red notices by INTERPOL.  Three accused are yet to be arrested or traced, the report stated.

According to the report, names of 87 persons connected to the case as well as remaining matters at enquiry stage had already been placed on Provisional National Immigration List and Exit Control List (ECL). The JIT further identified 9 persons who have also been placed on the PNIL.

Digital media recovered from Khoski Sugar Mills, Badin, owned by Omni Group, has been sent for forensic to DIA but its report is still awaited, the report stated. Report of handwriting expert on account opening form and related documents of A/c No. 1-2-28-20620-714-139111 in Summit Bank in the name of Tariq Sultan titled as A-One International has been received. The report of handwriting expert confirms that the account was opened by someone else in the name of Tariq Sultan because signatures on the questioned documents did not tally with that of Tariq Sultan obtained before the court as well as his routine signatures, the JIT report revealed.

29 suspicious accounts, which were initially unearthed, were apparently being operated by 7 persons or entities, according to the report.

The investigation conducted so far has transpired that these fake accounts were reportedly opened in various names mainly Arif Khan, an accountant of Omni Group, in connivance with bank officials as confirmed by some of the bank officials in their statements. “These accounts are believed to be operated for the persons and businesses associated with the Omni Group,” report stated.

During the investigation, additional hundreds of persons and companies have come to fore as depositors and beneficiaries of these accounts. It also transpired that CNICs of particular set of persons were being used to deposit and withdraw maximum amounts from these accounts.

In addition to 15 suspected accounts, 33 more accounts were revealed in the name of some of the same persons and entities thus raising total number of fake accounts to 77, the report said.

It stated that the 77 suspicious accounts were in process of further verification while the number could be increased and exact number of fake accounts was being ascertained.

210 entities and 334 individuals have been identified who are connected with transactions in these accounts one way or the other.  47 companies, on the basis of available information from SECP and FBR, appear to belonged Omni Group or its Directors, the JIT further revealed.

More details of such companies and individuals are being requisitioned from State Bank, Nadra and NAB. Their bank accounts’ statements are being examined to further unearth the new financial connections among them, if there is any.

The JIT sent call up notices to 9 individuals out of which 5 appeared before it. A retired colonel of Pakistan Army, Syed Asad Abbas Zaidi, appeared before the JIT and stated that he was associated with construction business. He admittedly received payments from fake accounts of M/s Iqbal Metal (Rs15 million in 4 transactions), Umari Associates (Rs5 million in 2 transactions) and Ibrahim Linkers (Rs5.1 million in 2 transactions) without having knowledge that these accounts were fake. “He (Zaidi) claimed to have received these payments for services rendered for repair and renovation work conducted at residence and office of Abdul Ghani Majeed,” the report added.

Another Rakesh Kumar told the JIT that he had deposited funds amounting to Rs13,243,875 through 15 cheques in fake account including that of M/s Lucky International against purchase of 248 tons of sugar from various mills. Dilip Kumar, accountant of Rakesh, admitted issuance of 34 cheques amounting to Rs32,637,150 against purchase of 615 tons sugar.

The JIT also submitted its strategy stating that requisite record from all institutions including banks shall be requisitioned by invoking provisions of National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (NAO) 1999. It further stated that JIT shall seek international cooperation, wherever required, through Mutual Legal Assistance by utilising all available means.

The report also mentioned the names and particulars of suspects including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur placed on PNIL and ECL.

The 34 companies and entities whose record has been requested by JIT include Sardar Ashraf D Baloch (Pvt.) Ltd., Karim Khani & Bros, SMADB Lilley Shahrukh, Zardari Group (Pvt.) Ltd., Sher Mugheri & Co, Alfa Zulu Company (Pvt.) Ltd., Waseem Builders, WestPoint Builders and Developers (Pvt.) Ltd., Parthenon (Pvt.) Ltd., Ruby Builders and Developers (Pvt.) Ltd., Rubicon (Pvt.) Ltd., Princeton Builders and Developers (Pvt.) Ltd., Oasis Drilling Corporation, Pak Oasis (Pvt.) Ltd., Land Marks, Sky Pak Holding (Pvt.) Ltd., Rising Star Holding (Pvt.) Ltd., M/s Sujawal Agro Fars (Pvt.) Ltd., Omni (Pvt.) Ltd., Agro Farms Thatta, Mureed Akbar, A-One International, Lucky International, Logistic Trading, Iqbal Metals, Royal International, Umair Associates, Suroor Investment Ltd., Ansari Sugar Mills, Omni Polymer Packages (Pvt.) Ltd., Pak Ethanol (Pvt.) Ltd. and Chamber Sugar Mills.

 

 

JIT expands money laundering probe to Sindh govt, SC told