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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Omni Group Saga: Office Raids, Rags to riches & Survival

News Desk |

A team probing the money laundering charges against Anwar Majeed raided his office located near the hockey stadium in Karachi. During the raid, the investigative team searched the offices and records pertaining to Majeed’s sugar mills.

According to the details, law enforcement agencies raided the Omni Group office in Karachi. The first raid at the Omni Group’s office near the hockey stadium which is situated off Shara-e-Faisal, was by the FIA, while the second was by a joint team of the FIA, NAB, and Rangers.

The Omni Group is headed by Anwar Majeed, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently behind bars in a money laundering case involving Rs 35 billion laundered through fake bank accounts at three local banks.

Read more: Money Laundering Case: JIT unearths more secrets

His son AG Majeed is also implicated in the case as is Hussain Lawai, the former head of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and Summit Bank. Sources stated that during the raid, law enforcement agencies took important record into custody. The FIA sealed records and data relating to the sugar mills owned by the Omni Group.

The law enforcement agencies personnel also interrogated the staff present at the Omni Group offices. The second raid took around two and a half to three hours during which the law enforcers seized CCTV footage, two computers, three laptops, and documents and questioned the company’s employees. During the raid, law enforcement agencies surrounded the building and cordoned off the area.

The Omni group case seems to be related to astounding cases of “rags to riches” creeping up around the country. First, a street vendor and then an unemployed student suddenly became billionaires overnight as huge amounts of cash appeared magically into their accounts. These cases are also being probed by the FIA.

The greatest fallout of the case is to the Pakistan People’s Party whose head Asif Ali Zardari is directly linked to the case. In August, the FIA  informed the Supreme Court that it has identified several dubious transactions through which Rs35 billion was transferred. At least Rs 2 billion were transferred from the Omni Group to the Zardari Group.

According to many observers, after Nawaz Sharif Zardari is in the firing line. This is perhaps we can see that the PPP has become highly active over the issue of accountability. The PPP almost outdid the PML-N in crying political victimization over the arrest of Shahbaz Sharif. Analysts argue that it is not due to a new found love for the Sharifs but shrewd political survival.

The PPP was content to wait 5 years and let the PML-N be destroyed by the PTI but as the wheel of accountability comes for itself it has found its existence to be in danger. A Chief Justice and a Prime Minister who share the same determination for accountability and an Army Chief who is not interested in politics has forced the PPP back into the PML-N’s arms. Now both are riding together in the political victimization bandwagon.