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Friday January 21, 2022

Death is not a barrier to becoming a billionaire

The country’s top investigation agency has already found billions of rupees in fake bank accounts of a Falooda vendor, a rickshaw driver, a widow and a student. Now they have discovered that a man has made transactions of over Rs4 billion after he died four years ago.

October 16, 2018

The country’s top investigation agency has already found billions of rupees in fake bank accounts of a Falooda vendor, a rickshaw driver, a widow and a student. Now they have discovered that a man has made transactions of over Rs4 billion after he died four years ago.

While probing Sindh’s biggest money laundering scandal, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has found fake bank accounts in the name of Iqbal Arain, who passed away on May 9, 2014, at a hospital on Shaheed-e-Millat Road and was buried at the Sakhi Hassan graveyard.

“So far we have found four accounts at three different private banks in his name,” a senior FIA official told The News on Monday. “All these accounts were opened after his death.” The FIA official said that transactions to the tune of Rs4.6 billion were found to have been made through these fake accounts linked to Benami accounts.

On September 24 a joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court to probe the 35-billion-rupee money laundering case told the top court that they had discovered 33 more suspicious accounts and that 334 people were found to be involved.

“For opening the fake accounts, bogus CNICs were used that were made during 2002 and 2012,” explained an official. “Majority of the fake accounts in the names of dead people were opened between 2010 and 2014.”

He said that transactions were made in two to eight months, adding that all the accounts used for moving billions of rupees are now vacant. The FIA’s investigators are preparing a list of all the suspects and verifying possible involvement of the staff of different banks as well so cases could be registered.

“Some 30 cases regarding these fake accounts are expected to be lodged,” said a senior official. “Right now documents and evidences are being gathered, with forensic examination of the transactions. Following that, we shall be able to identify the bank staff and clients to ascertain the authenticity of the cases.”

This is not the first time that the FIA has found fake accounts. During a series of discoveries made by the agency, they found billions of rupees in the names of a Falooda vendor, a rickshaw driver a widow and a student.

The investigation agency is looking into money laundering worth billions of rupees through fake bank accounts, including the one held by Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

An SC-mandated JIT headed by FIA Additional Director General Ahsan Sadiq has been investigating the money laundering of Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts. The team is investigating 32 people, including Zardari and his sister.

Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested this July in connection with the case. Some 29 Benami accounts at some private banks were opened between 2013 and 2015, and used for transactions worth billions of rupees.

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