Home Global Village Dawn of Accountability: Zardari’s close aide being investigated by FIA

Dawn of Accountability: Zardari’s close aide being investigated by FIA


News Analysis |

Hussain Lawai, a close friend of former President Asif Zardari and Chairman of the Board of Pakistan Stock Exchange has been questioned on Friday by Federal Investigation Agency in money laundering case. Hussain Lawai is former Head of Summit Bank and a close friend of Asif Zardari was summoned by FIA in connection with benami accounts used for money laundering.

Lawai is accused of laundering Rs35 billion and is under investigation by FIA. It is the same case for which PPP demanded DG FIA to be changed. Twenty-nine accounts belonging to seven people have been used to launder around Rs 35 billion in Sindh, according to the FIA, which is being called the ‘biggest money laundering case in Sindh’.

These people made accounts in three banks, including Summit Bank and Sindh Bank. The accounts are reportedly used by Anwar Majeed, another of Zardari’s close aides, and employees of the Omni Group. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the money laundering scandal and summoned the FIA’s director general on Sunday.

The stock market has started off FY19 on a disappointing note. In the last 5-trading sessions, the market has cumulatively declined by 1,626 points to 40,284 level, a percentage decrease of 3.9 percent.

 

Earlier, a prominent banker, Hussain Lawai, was stopped by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials from leaving the country from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport allegedly in connection with suspicious bank transaction worth billions of rupees.

As many as over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at the Summit Bank allegedly were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees’ were made in the accounts. The amount is black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes. But despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported to the authorities including FIA.

Read more: Will judicial activism enable JIT to get accountability?

Meanwhile, Pakistan equities closed weekend session on bullish note as the uncertainty related to Avenfield reference cleared with the NAB court verdict. The benchmark KSE 100 index closed 45 points higher at 40284 level on Friday.

The stock market has started off FY19 on a disappointing note. In the last 5-trading sessions, the market has cumulatively declined by 1,626 points to 40,284 level, a percentage decrease of 3.9 percent.

The accounts are reportedly used by Anwar Majeed, another of Zardari’s close aides, and employees of the Omni Group. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the money laundering scandal and summoned the FIA’s director general on Sunday.

‘Stocks closed higher on easing political uncertainty after former PM verdict announcement by the accountability court. Higher global crude prices, reports of record foreign receipts on account of Tax amnesty scheme and speculations on outcome of SC directions to the Govt to consider revision in local POL prices played a catalyst role in higher close at PSX”, commented Ahsan Mehanti, senior stock market analyst.

Read more: The nation awaits the accountability court decision

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has announced the much awaited verdict on one of Panama’s on-going corruption references (Avenfield which pertains to the purchase of four flats in Park Lane, London) against the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

In its decision, NAB indicts Nawaz Sharif and his daughter where the anti-graft watchdog announced 10-year imprisonment for Nawaz Sharif (with 8 million pounds fine) and for Maryam Nawaz (with 2 million pounds fine), 7-Year imprisonment. The court has also announced to confiscate the Avenfield property in favor of Federal Government.

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