Remand of fake accounts case suspects extended


ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday extended the judicial remand of seven suspects in the fake accounts case till Oct 21. The court also extended the remand of Javed Husain, a co-accused of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari in the Park Lane case, in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) till Oct 8.

The seven accused in the fake accounts case, Mustafa Zulqarnain, Khawaja Salman, Waheed Ahmed, Dawoodi Morkas, Kazim, Faisal Nadeem and Amanullah were present before Judge Muhammad Bashir after the completion of their judicial remand. The court extended their remand till Oct 21.

NAB presented Javed Husain before the court in the Park Lane case. NAB maintained that they have acquired information that Husain, a former of executive director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), assisted Zardari in corrupt practices including preparing the PPP co-chairman’s forged resignation from the Pak Lane company.

The accountability watchdog requested that Husain’s remand be extended for more investigation. The court, approving NAB’s request, extended his physical remand till Oct 8.

According to NAB investigators, Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Ltd was jointly owned by the former president, his son and a few others, purchased almost 2,500 kanals of land near Sangjani in March 2009 from Faisal Sakhi Butt.

Faisal Butt is stated as a close aide to Zardari and used to run Islamabad affairs during PPP’s last regime. Butt had purchased the land from a Pakistani American Muhammad Nasir Khan living in Houston, United States for merely Rs62 million in 1995.

Nasir Khan was the original purchaser of the land in 1994 and was declared to be the front man of Zardari in the Ehtesab Bureau reference filed against Zardari in 1997.

Information regarding the fake accounts came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case. In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions have been made.

The probe was initially shelved but resumed almost a year and a half later with 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.

It was at his point that the Supreme Court intervened and then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the ‘slow progress’ in the money-laundering case.

In July, Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested. Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.

The then chief justice ordered the formation of a joint investigation team to quicken the pace of the investigation. The JIT identified 11,500 bank accounts and 924 account holders at the start of their investigation.

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Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/2066950/1-remand-fake-accounts-case-suspects-extended/