Zardari’s physical remand extended by 11 days in fake accounts case

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Accountability court issues robkars for Zardari's release in NAB cases

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday extended former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s physical remand by 11 days in fake bank accounts case. Zardari will now be presented in the accountability court on July 2.
Zardari appeared before accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad upon completion of his physical remand earlier today.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had sought a 14-day extension but the request was turned down by the accountability court.
NAB was given 11-day physical remand of Zardari on June 11, a day after the former president was arrested in the fake accounts case.
Zardari was arrested by NAB earlier this month after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) recalled the pre-arrest bail granted to him and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake accounts case.
The co-chairman of the PPP was taken into NAB custody from his residence in the federal capital and was taken to the NAB Rawalpindi office.
Information regarding the fake accounts came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case. In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions have been made.
The probe was initially shelved but resumed almost a year and a half later with FIA’s State Bank circle initiating a formal inquiry in January 2018. By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway–for several reasons.
It was at his point that the Supreme Court intervened and then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the ‘slow progress’ in the money-laundering case.
In July, Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested. Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.
The then chief justice ordered the formation of a joint investigation team to quicken the pace of the investigation. The JIT identified 11,500 bank accounts and 924 account holders at the start of their investigation.
According to the report, the JIT identified 11,500 bank accounts and 924 account holders at the start of their investigation.
Its experts generated 59 Suspected Transaction Reports (STR) and 24,500 Cash Transaction Reports. That means the transactions were flagged as suspicious. Due to the high quantum of transactions, the JIT decided on a threshold of Rs10million “to track, follow and minutely investigate the flow of funds beyond the immediate counterparties and determine the source of funds and ultimate beneficiaries.”
It questioned 767 individuals, including Zardari and Talpur, while Bilawal submitted written responses.

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