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June 26, 2018

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Famous banker barred from flying abroad

KARACHI: A prominent banker, Hussain Lawai, former head of Summit Bank, was stopped by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials from leaving the country from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport allegedly in connection with suspicious bank transaction worth billions of rupees.

Talking to The News, Lawai did not say why he was stopped from leaving the country but confirmed that he was barred from going abroad. He said he is unaware as why he was stopped from flying abroad and was directed to approach the FIA, Karachi office for recording statement and facing an inquiry. “When I came to FIA office on Tuesday (today), I came to know about the issue, concluded Lawai.

Though FIA officials did not comment on the issue, some FIA senior officers of Sindh confirmed that he was stopped from leaving for abroad. They said Lawai was allowed only to go home following an under taking that he would appear before the FIA for the recording of his statement and joining inquiry.

According to credible sources in the FIA, as many as over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at the Summit Bank allegedly were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees’ were made in the accounts. The amount according to FIA sources is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes. But despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported them to the authorities concerned including FIA.

The FIA sources confirmed that in 2015, FIA initiated had an inquiry into the case and notices were issued to responsible persons including Hussain Lawai. The FIA sources confirmed that two businessmen, father and son, said to be close aides of the head of a political party were operating these accounts and FIA had managed to trace the original beneficiary of the account.

However, “both the father and son duo left the country after receiving notices from FIA,” concluded FIA sources. When The News tried to approach Hussain Lawai for his version about the allegations levelled against him by the FIA he was not available. However, his associates rejected these allegations as pack of lies.

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