Fake accounts case JIT starts work in FIA Karachi makeshift office


Staff Report



The Supreme Court (SC)-mandated Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the fake accounts case held its maiden meeting in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s Karachi division on Thursday.

The six-member team, formed to probe the case pertaining to the channelling of Rs35 billion through fake accounts has former President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur as its main suspects.

The JIT, headed by Additional Director-General (ADG) (Economic Crime Wing) FIA HQs Ahsan Sadiq, includes Commissioner-IR (Corporate Zone) Regional Tax Officer Imran Latif Minhas, Joint Director BID-I State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Majid Hussain, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director Noman Aslam, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Director (Specialised Companies Division) Muhammad Afzal and Brigadier Shahid Parvez of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

In its maiden huddle, the meeting mulled over the direction the team is to give the probe. This included the ways to tackle investigations against all accused, which include some big names.

The apex court had given the go-ahead for the formation of a Panamagate-style JIT on September 6 so as to expedite the investigation of the multibillion rupee case.

The JIT’s secretariat was approved in the new building of the agency located in Gulshan-i-Johar.

According to media reports, the JIT members had arrived at a consensus to open its secretariat in Karachi instead of Islamabad.

Zardari and his sister Faryal were among over a dozen suspects declared absconders in the money-laundering scam.

In the FIA list, Anwar Majeed and his son’s names appeared on top of the list while those of Zardari and Talpur were on the 19th and 20th number, respectively.

According to the First Identification Report (FIR) registered by FIA, transactions of billions of rupees were made into suspicious accounts, including the one owned by the PPP leaders, the Zardari Group, which is accused of receiving Rs15 million of the laundered money.

In December 2016, the Pakistan Rangers conducted raids at the Karachi office of the Omni Group of Companies and the residence of its owner Anwar Majeed, a close aide of Zardari, and confiscated record allegedly related with money laundering. With additional input from NNI