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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 13, 2020

IHC accepts Abdul Ghani Majeed's bail plea on medical grounds

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Feb 13, 2020
Two armed forces personnel stand outside the Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday accepted Abdul Ghani Majeed's bail plea in the fictitious bank accounts cases on medical grounds. Majeed is one of the prime accused in the money laundering case with former president Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur and his father, Omni Group Chairman Anver Majeed. 

The high court accepted Majeed's bail plea, directing him to deposit Rs100 million  bonds. The two-member bench comprising  Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Fayyaz Ahmed Jandran  ruled that Majeed will undergo treatment at an Islamabad hospital and present himself before the court whenever he is summoned. 

What is the fake bank accounts case?

In October 2015, the anti-corruption wing of the Federal Investigation Agency in Karachi received a tip-off of suspicious intra-bank transactions from the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and the United Bank Limited. The profiles of the account holders did not match their earnings/income. FIA authorities suspected that these accounts were being run by the Zardari Group and Omni Group, amongst others. 

The case dragged on until June 2018, when the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the fake accounts and directed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.

The investigation team concluded that 32 fake bank accounts were being operated by 11 fake entities to launder money from “kickbacks, land grabbing and large scale misappropriation of public funds.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lowai, the then-president Summit Bank, Nasser Abdullah Lootah, chairman Summit Bank, Chairman Omni Group Anver Majid and his son are the prime suspects in the case.

The JIT also concluded from the investigation that the Omni Group had immensely benefited from the transactions. The investigation team stated that the group had a “startling and unprecedented (abnormal) growth 2009 onwards,” interestingly, after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took power.

From 2008 to 2013, the company grew at a whopping 2,500% and added a total of 83 companies under its umbrella. The growth percentage fell to 142% after 2013, when the PPP lost the central government.