Three more bankers arrested in fake bank accounts case 

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STAFF REPORT

RAWALPINDI

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi in coordination with NAB Karachi  conducting raids in Karachi and Lahore have arrested President Sindh Bank Tariq Ahsan and former president Sindh Bank Bilal Sheikh and Sindh Bank Executive Vice President Syed Nadeem Altaf in a fake bank accounts case.

According to details, the NAB Rawalpindi arrested accused Bilal Sheikh, ex-president Sindh Bank, Tariq Ahsan, president Sindh Bank and Nadeem Altaf, executive vice president Sindh bank involved in corruption and awarding loans to Omni group through illegal means.

The accused persons will be produced before the respected Accountability Court Karachi for grant of transit remand. After remand from AC, Karachi, the accused persons will be shifted to Islamabad as per law.

The three accused have awarded illegal loans of worth Rs1.8 billion to benami companies of Omni group, said sources.

An accountability court on Monday extended physical remand of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur until July 22 on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request, in the fake bank accounts case.

On April 28, NAB had arrested two bank officers, Sher Ali and Muhammad Farooq, for allegedly providing tampered records to the accountability watchdog in the fake accounts case. The NAB Rawalpindi team took the duo in custody over their alleged corruption and involvement in the approval of the loan for Park Lane Estates Pvt Ltd.

On April 24, NAB had apprehended an accountant of Park Lane Estate Company Private Limited in a raid at the office of Park Lane Company, reportedly owned by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

It is worth mentioning here that former president Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and several prominent individuals, including former Summit Bank president Hussain Lawai and Omni Group president Anwar Majeed, are already in NAB’s custody in the fake accounts case.

On December 24, the JIT, formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references.

The report had mentioned that 29 fake accounts were identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which had laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs). All of these details were scrutinised, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals.

The report further stated that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however, the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family.

Later, the court had ordered Zardari to submit his reply by December 31, however, during the previous hearing, extended his and his sister s interim bail till January 7.

On September 6, the SC had formed a JIT to probe into alleged mega money laundering of Rs42 billion channelled through fake bank accounts in three banks.