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December 7, 2018

Fake accounts case: JIT sends tough questionnaire to Bilawal Bhutto

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December 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) sent a tough questionnaire to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari whereas investigators asked the young politician that how his company M/s Zardari Group Pvt Ltd remained a beneficiary of billions of rupees stashed into around a dozen fake accounts that swung the country’s corruption watchdog into action.

Investigation into multi-billion fake accounts scam continues to spring unbelievable surprises where more than 620 individuals, who have a direct or indirect link with more than 300 fake accounts, have allegedly accumulated wealth worth around Rs110 billion, officials associated with the investigation process revealed.

“Yes, we have received a questionnaire from the JIT. We would respond to it today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday),” confirmed Farooq H Naek, counsel for Bilawal in fake accounts case.

“Questions would be responded in details,” Farooq Naek told this correspondent. The JIT questionnaire is based on its proceedings which revealed that the PPP chairman in capacity of director of M/s Zardari Group Pvt Ltd is acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the matter and possess information/evidence which relates to the subject case/inquiry.

The JIT on Nov 22, 2018 served a notice on Bilawal where he was asked to appear before the JIT on Nov 28, 2018 in the FIA Karachi office. The JIT, headed by senior police officer Ehsan Sadiq, also summoned former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the same case in its Karachi office where both recorded their statement on Nov 28.

Credible sources revealed that the JIT has asked Bilawal about nature of his business partnership with his father. The investigators have also asked about transactions made by M/s Zardari Group Pvt Ltd through a few fake accounts associated with Omni Group and other over a half dozen entities and individuals.

Sources said the JIT asked about payment of Rs4.14 million on June 29, 2015 from a fake account owned by M/s Logistic Trading for food supplies to Bilawal House by M/s ‘The Deli’ restaurant. This account was maintained in a private bank in Karachi. Investigators also asked the PPP chairman about fake accounts maintained through M/s Umair Associates, M/s Ocean Enterprises and M/s Dream Trading and Company. These accounts carried more than 34 transactions worth around Rs130 million, an official revealed. The JIT also asked Bilawal about nature of his group business relationship with Omni Group of Companies and Bahria Town. Payment of Rs1.54 million of domestic water bill for the month of April 20, 2015 pertaining to House No D-30, Block 3, Clifton from a fake account of M/s Royal International which were maintained at a private bank in Karachi, revealed the sources.

The JIT also questioned Bilawal who takes cares of his businesses link to M/s Zardari group and other companies. The JIT also questioned Bilawal as director of Zardari Group Pvt Ltd where a sum of amount was accumulated through M/s Lucky International’s account '12120-311714135-339' maintained at a private bank in Karachi.

The JIT has also sought original documents and certified receipts to justify his stance as evidence for fake accounts case. The questionnaire clubbed with previous notice finally read if the accused person fails to respond then this behaviour may entail penal consequences under the NAO 1999, added the sources.

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