On Tuesday, A Rawalpindi customs court issued bailable arrest warrants for Supermodel Ayyan Ali since she has not appeared in court since December last year. Ayyan has been indicted in a high profile case of currency smuggling.
The court summoned Ayyan for the next hearing on June 21.
Ali’s name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) earlier this year after the model said she had to travel abroad for professional assignments and medical treatment. Since then she had been released from jail on bail, her name should be struck off the ECL.
Ali’s counsel in court today requested the model be permitted temporary absence due to her mother’s illness. The court dismissed the request and the judge, Justice Muhammad Shiraz Kayani, inquired whether the model had any intention of returning to Pakistan at all.
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He noted that the last time Ali had appeared in court was Dec 17, 2016, after which she had been granted 12 leaves of absence. He added that although the Supreme Court had allowed her to travel abroad, she had not been exempted from appearing in trial court.
Her lawyer brought the case of former President Pervez Musharraf to the court’s attention, to which the court remarked that the two cases must not be compared as they are completely different. The case may have garnered interest in the public, but it is just another case for the court stated the judge.
In Nov 2015 Ayyan was indicted on the charge of attempting to smuggle more than half a million dollars in cash out of the country. She has pleaded not guilty.
The model was arrested for money laundering after customs officials discovered $506,000 from her luggage on March 14, 2015, at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport before she could reportedly board a flight to Dubai.
She spent four months in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail and was granted bail in July last year. Her judicial remand was extended at least 16 times.
As a category B inmate in the Adiala Jail, the supermodel reportedly enjoyed the selective privileges that fame affords.
Ayyan had been provided a room of her own in the ladies barracks of the jail, as well as a female helper.
Reportedly she was provided food and water from outside the jail.
The one-time Magnum and Ufone ambassador did not have access to a mobile phone, internet or television during her incarceration.
Ayyan’s case became politicized when the airport entry pass of the personal assistant to a former president was canceled for allegedly trying to aid Ayyan’s suspected attempt to smuggle money.
Later in June 2015, a customs official who was allegedly investigating the model’s money laundering case was murdered.