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November 12, 2018

Money laundering case: JIT seeks five-year record of Sindh uplift projects

Top Story

November 12, 2018

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court (SC) to probe an ongoing money laundering case on Sunday summoned details of annual development projects for the last five years from the Sindh government.

According to a source, the JIT sought details of development projects from 2013 to 2018, including the project charter, allocated budget, cash outflow, revise schemes and expenses. “The JIT has requested the Sindh chief secretary to submit the details by November 12,” the source added.

The source added, “After the request from the JIT, the Sindh chief secretary directed the departments of planning, finance, power, irrigation, works, health, education, agriculture among others to submit the relevant details by Monday.” Earlier, the JIT had written a letter to the Sindh government and sought records for the past 10 years of bank accounts owned by the provincial government.

According to the letter, the JIT has sought records for the past 10 years of the transactions made by the provincial government. “The Sindh government should share the records of all accounts in all banks,” the letter read.

Further, details have also been sought of the contracts awarded in the water and communication and works departments in the last 10 years. “Details should be shared regarding how much money was invested in and how many contracts were awarded pertaining to these two departments in the last 10 years,” the letter stated.

Details of contractors, including their names, addresses and NIC numbers, have also been sought. The letter also mentions the suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court regarding the case.

The Federal Investigation Agency is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe. The former president's another close aide and Omni Groupchairman, Anwar Majeed, and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed, were also arrested by the FIA in August. Lawai, Majeed and his son remain under custody.

Earlier this month, FIA sources informed that the mastermind of the money laundering and fake accounts case, Aslam Masood, had been arrested by the Interpol from Jeddah. The FIA has also issued notices to 726 workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in connection with the money-laundering case, sources said.

The investigative agency’s Counter-Terrorism Wing sent out notices to 726 people working at different positions within the party, instructing them to get in touch with its Islamabad head office, the sources said.

The said party workers are accused of depositing large sums of money into the funds of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF) – a charitable organisation that operates under the jurisdiction of MQM.

The FIA, on Friday, had obtained non-bailable arrest warrants for four former and current MQM leaders in connection with the case. An anti-terrorism court in Karachi had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Babar Ghauri, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Ahmed Ali and Arshad Vohra.

According to sources, the four have been directed to appear before FIA on November 12. A money laundering case was lodged against the MQM supremo and KKF in Karachi in 2017. However, it was later transferred to the FIA's Counter-Terrorism Wing, Islamabad.

It is also pertinent to note here that the MQM, following an inflammatory speech by the party founder in August 2016, was divided into two factions, with Pakistan-based members distancing themselves from their London-based leadership. Later, some members defected to other political parties as well, including Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).  

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