Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari arrested in fake bank accounts case

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Former Pakistani president and currently a lawmaker in Parliament and leader of Pakistan People's party, Asif Ali Zardari, center, leaves the High Court building, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, June 10, 2019. A Pakistani court has rejected a request by Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, for an extension of their bail that would allow them to remain free despite facing a multimillion-dollar money laundering case. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Several other arrests are expected in weeks ahead, sources say on condition of anonymity.

PKONWEB Report — Former President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on corruption charges in capital Islamabad Monday– hours after the Islamabad High Court rejected his and sister Faryal Talpur’s request for an extension in their pre-arrest bail.

A 15-member team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), accompanied by police personnel, arrested the PPP co-chairman.

The former president was shifted to the accountability bureau’s Rawalpindi office after his arrest.

Both Zardari and Talpur are on bail in at least seven other cases of corruption and malpractice.

No arrest warrant has yet been issued for Talpur.

The two politically exposed siblings (PEPs) have the option of appealing the IHC judgment in the Supreme Court.

Zardari and Talpur, a provincial lawmaker in Sindh government, are two of the main accused in the multibillion rupee money laundering scandal which utilized fake bank accounts to channel illegally gained funds out of the country.

According to the JIT report ordered by the Supreme Court earlier, suspicious transactions worth Rs4.4 billion were allegedly carried out through a fictitious bank account. According to the prosecution, the account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4bn out of which Rs30m was paid to the Zardari Group at two different times.

The former president has, however, denied any wrongdoing linked to the fake accounts case and other cases, while his PPP party says the cases are politically motivated.

Other suspects in the case include Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza.

On May 14, the anti-corruption unit furnished details of inquiries, investigations, and references in the case.

In the report, NAB listed at least eight cases where Zardari’s link had been established.

Several other arrests are expected in weeks ahead, sources say on condition of anonymity. “Many investigations are in final stages as per the 10-month rule established by the bureau, to file references,” they added.

Widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Zardari became president through the election in 2008 subsequent to an NRO deal with the former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari urged party workers to remain calm. “The people have never accepted controversial court verdicts,” he was quoted as saying.

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