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NAB supplementary reference against Asif Zardari

26 November, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a supplementary reference against former president Asif Ali Zardari and 24 other suspects, including a son-in-law of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, for having connections with various companies of Omni Group and Zardari Group.

The original reference was filed a couple of months ago under the fake bank accounts and money laundering scam against Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) top leaders and their aides. So far over a dozen references have been filed against 172 suspects, including PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Sindh Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, provincial minister Anwar Siyal and Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz.

A number of people have already been taken into custody in this case, including Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur.

The names of 172 accused have been placed on the Exit Control List. However, the names of Mr Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh CM Shah have been removed from the travel ban list on the directives of the Supreme Court.

According to the NAB investigation, Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur are shareholders and directors of Zardari Group and Ms Talpur is also a signatory to bank accounts of the group.

The anti-graft watchdog claimed that it had been established that Rs30 million was deposited in the accounts of the Zardari Group through a fake bank account. The amount was initially transacted from a joint bank account of Mushtaq Ahmed and Zain Malik, son-in-law of Malik Riaz.

“Upon further investigation it was unearthed that the amounts of Rs300m and Rs400m were routed from bank accounts of Mushtaq Ahmed and Zain Malik and layered through fake bank accounts of A-One International and Lucky International,” it claimed.

Later, an amount of Rs15m was transferred to the Zardari Group from another accused Mohammad Zubair, an office boy of Anver Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed [owners of the Omni Group].

According to a NAB spokesperson, Mr Zardari and his sister Ms Talpur in connivance with other accused allegedly misappropriated funds of Summit Bank by releasing unauthorised payments to M/s Regent Services and various fake/benami vendors, including A-One International, for purchase of a piece of land [in Karachi] and its construction.

They were also allegedly involved in approval of a fraudulent finance facility to beneficial owners of private firms Alfa Zulu and Plaza Enterprises through benemidars and its misappropriation by placing in fake accounts as well as routing through different entities.

According to NAB, it has also been established that an amount of Rs1,200m from sundry account of Summit Bank was illegally transferred and misappropriated with mala fide intention by the accused persons and also an amount of Rs950m was transferred from sundry account of Summit Bank to extend undue benefit and favour to accused persons, especially Mr Zardari.

The bureau claimed that the investigation had established that Anver Majid, Abdul Ghani Majid, Mustafa Z. Majid and Imran Khan in this matter played a pivotal role in commission of offence for generation of hefty amounts illegally with active connivance of Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza for the benefit of Mr Zardari.

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