Khudayar Mohla –
Hours after arrest warrants for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Faryal Talpur were issued, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials declared her residence in sector F8 of Islamabad as a sub-jail where she has been placed under house arrest.
On June 10, the Islamabad High Court has cancelled former president and co-chairperson of the PPP Asif Ali Zardari and his sister pre-arrest bail applications in money-laundering case in which millions of rupees were allegedly siphoned out of the country.
Hours after, the NAB officials has arrested Asif Ali Zardari from his residence of Islamabad on June 10, however, Faryal Talpur was not apprehended but on Friday the Bureau Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal issued a notification declaring Faryal Talpur’s residence as sub-jail. The top-anti-graft body is expected to seek physical remand of Faryal Talpur from Accountability Court Islamabad on Saturday (today).
Member National Assembly Zardari – his sister Faryal Talpur Sindh assembly member are two of the main accused in the money laundering scandal who allegedly operated fake bank accounts to channel ill-gotten substantial amount of money out of the country.
The cases are part of the investigations being conducted by NAB in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.
Other suspects include Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza. On May 14, the anti-corruption unit furnished details of inquiries, investigations and references in the case.In the report, NAB listed at least eight cases where Zardari’s link had been established.
The fake accounts saga
Information regarding the fake accounts were disclosed when an intelligence agency arrested a famous money changer for investigation in another matter. During December 2015, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been reported to begin a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions were made.
The probe was initially shelved but resumed almost a year and a half later with the FIA’s State Bank circle initiating a formal inquiry in January 2018. By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway–for several reasons.
Top court intervened in the matter while former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice over lackluster performance in the money-laundering case. Consequently, close aids of Zardari including Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested. Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.
Mian Saqib Nisar issued directives to form a Joint Investigation Team in order to accelerate pace of the investigation in the scam which identified as many as 11,500 bank accounts and a total of 924 account holders at the start of their investigation.
The JIT report
According to the JIT report, experts generated 59 Suspected Transaction Reports (STR) and 24,500 Cash Transaction Reports which means the transactions were flagged as suspicious. Then the JIT decided on a threshold of Rs10 million to track, follow and minutely investigate the flow of funds beyond the immediate counterparties and determine the source of funds and ultimate beneficiaries.
During the probe the JIT questioned as many as 767 individuals including Zardari and his sister Frayal Talpur whereas Bilawal submitted written responses before the Team.
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