FIA proposes 7-man JIT to probe fake accounts

Agency wants ISI, MI men on team n Informs SC laundered money used for purchasing properties in UK, UAE Court hints at day-to-day hearing from Sept 5

2018-08-29T02:41:09+05:00 Syed Sabeehul Hussnain

ISLAMABAD - The Federal Investigation Agency on Tuesday revealed before the Supreme Court that the alleged laundered money through fake accounts was utilised for purchasing properties in the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also hinted at contacting UAE government for the details required in this regard.

The Agency further revealed that a major part of the important documentary evidence of the alleged money laundering was found to have been burnt in the Khoski Sugar Mills Badin.

The FIA in its reply to the court also proposed a seven-member Joint Investigation Team including the representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence to probe the case.

The revelations were made in a 10-page progress report submitted before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, which took up the matter for hearing regarding slackness in the progress of pending inquiries relating to the alleged money laundering through fake bank accounts wherein PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are also nominated.

The report stated that the accused Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed were arrested on August 15. During interrogation, it has transpired that Ghani and Anwar also had foreign company namely KAM Crown International Trading House Co. LLC Dubai.

The licence of the said foreign company is in the names of Nazli Majeed, the wife of Anwar Majeed, Noor Nimr Majeed and Minahil Majeed, the wife of Abdul Ghani Majeed.

Two foreign bank statements of KAM Crown maintained at Habib Bank AG Zurich, Dubai, and Emirates NBD Dubai were recovered during search of office of Ghani Majeed, the report added.

“It is worth mentioning that the payments were made from these accounts to personal and family’s account in UK for purchasing properties in UAE and UK.”

The KAM Crown Company also received the funds from Hopeway General Trading, Azhar Mobiles, Azhar Technical Trading and Tanveer Masood Trading who have fed the account of accused through foreign transfers and which were subsequently transferred for subscription of right shares of Summit Bank.

“Transfer of amount in/from the foreign accounts of KAM Crown and withdrawal of huge amounts from the fake accounts (Summit Bank/UBL/Sindh Bank) in the same days arise suspicion that capital has flown out of Pakistan via illegal route of hawala and hundi.”

The FIA said UAE government was to be moved through proper channel for providing the details of nature of business of KAM Crown and its import and export details.

Details of counter companies of KAM Crown are also required through proper channel to ascertain the owners/directors of said companies, the report stated, adding it was suspected that these companies were used by Haji Haroon for transfer of funds.

The report stated that accused Abdul Ghani Majeed had only identified Muhammad Umair being employee of Omni Group and refused to recognise other account holders. Ghani Majeed, however, disclosed that Umair and Arif Khan work for Aslam Masood.

Accused Abdul Ghani Majeed disclosed that he had business relations with Younas Kodavi who was also director of M/s Rubicon Builders & Developers Pvt Ltd It is worth mentioning that Rubicon Builders and M/s Parthenon are among depositors and also beneficiaries of fake accounts.

Accused Abdul Ghani Majeed, the report revealed, has also admitted links with Haji Haroon’s Exchange Company for illegal purchase of USD amount to PKR 80-100 million.

It is pertinent to mention here that accused persons Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed were given ample opportunity to produce evidence in their defence regarding heavy deposit of Rs 3122 million and withdrawal of Rs4014 million in 29 suspicious or fake accounts.

“Although both the accused admitted transactions in fake accounts, however, they failed to produce any evidence in their defense regarding the use and purpose of said heavy amounts transacted in the said accounts.”

During the investigation, two more new companies of Omni Group surfaced including Anaoud Gas Ltd which has transaction with one of the fake account of Umair Associates while the second company namely Platinum LPG is also disclosed during interrogation.

FIA further stated it received reliable information that important documentary evidence could be secured from Khoski Sugar Mills Badin pertaining to the instant case and inquiries.

“Accordingly a joint raid along with Rangers was conducted at the said Mills. During search, it was found that record was burnt beforehand of which few samples have been seized. Moreover, some financial record, 27 hard disks, along with one virtual storage area network backup device, two DVRs, 7 Kalashnikovs and 4 semi-automatic rifles were also seized.”

The weapons seized were handed over to the concerned police station under proper report for further legal action whereas hard disks had been sent for forensic analysis.

Regarding the other accused persons involved in the scam, the report stated that ex-president of Summit Bank Hussain Lawai and corporate head of the Bank Taha Raza were in judicial custody and their post arrest bails had been dismissed.

Chairman Omni Group Anwar Majeed is on physical remand; however, he was admitted in hospital on August 17 during remand. FIA’s repeated requests to convert physical remand into judicial remand were turned down by trial court Karachi. Abdul Ghani Majeed was on physical remand till August 28. He was hospitalised on August 27.

Out of additional 15 fake accounts detected, two account holders Irfan Suleman (M/s Gateway Iron Steel UBL SMCHS), and Muhammad Ashraf S/o Noor Muhammad (joint account M Sajid/ M Ashraf HMB Chandni Chowk Branch Karachi) denied to have opened or operating the account.

Addresses in Account Opening Forms were found fake, different shops/premises of International Business Centre, which is owned by M/s Parthenon Pvt Ltd. This Centre’s directors are M Iqbal Noori and Younas Kodavi.

Noureen Sultan, Kiran Aman, Adeel Shah Rashidi, Muhammad Ashraf, Qasim Ali, Shehzad Ali Jatoi, Sher Muhammad Mugheri, M Iqbal Noori, who are bankers, depositors and beneficiaries, sought pre arrest interim bails. However, Noureen Sultan, Kiran Aman and M Iqbal Noori joined investigation, he added.

Nasir Abdullah Lootah, Aslam Masood, Arif Khan, Adnan Javed, M Umair, M Iqbal Arain, Azam Wazeer Khan, Zain Malik, Nimr Majeed and Mustafa Majeed Zulqarnain were absconding and their non-bailable warrants have been issued.

Legal action for freezing of properties owned by Omni Group had been initiated on July 31 through divisional commissioners; however, action taken in this regard is still awaited. The record from cane commissioner for liabilities against sugarcane growers was requisitioned, which was received and is under scrutiny. FBR was requested to provide record related to Omni Group of Companies’ Tax returns which is awaited.

During the course of hearing, the bench hinted at hearing the case on day-to-day basis after September 5.

Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood informed the bench that Asif Zardari was on protective bail till September 3 while Faryal Talpur was on pre-arrest interim bail till September 4.

He said both the accused appeared before FIA’s JIT on August 27 and requested for questionnaire pertaining to allegations and sought time for answering the same.

Another counsel Aitzaz Ahsan, representing different accused persons, did not appear before the court. The court was informed that Ahsan was contesting presidential election and will be available after the election.



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