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Rs35b money laundering case: Zardari, Faryal record statements before JIT

Rs35b money laundering case: Zardari, Faryal record statements before JIT

KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Wednesday appeared individually and recorded their statement before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating Rs35 billion money laundering case involving several fake bank accounts.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had also summoned Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to record his statement. However, he could not appear before the JIT today.

According to the party leaders, instead of appearing before the JIT, Bilawal will give a written response to the questions given to him by the FIA through his lawyer.

Both Talpur and the PPP co-chairman approximately spent an hour and a half each before the investigators at the FIA complex.

Strict security measures were taken to thwart any untoward incident taking place. Bomb disposal squad and sniffing dogs had cleared the whole area before the arrival of two PPP leaders. A heavy contingent of Rangers was also deployed besides sharp shooters on rooftops of the surrounding buildings.

Sources said that a six-member JIT interrogated Zardari and Talpur regarding the alleged transfer of ill-gotten money in Zardari Group’s bank accounts.

Other matters including illegal allotment of public land in Sindh, corruption of different provincial government institutions, providing facilities to influential property developer in violation with the code of conduct, transfer of ‘black money’ through hawala and hundi and questions regarding the overseas properties were also asked by the JIT members.

Both PPP leaders avoided interacting with media representatives on the occasion.

Earlier, the FIA in its report had claimed that investigation of bank accounts’ inter-linkages proved that personal account of former president Zardari was used to deposit Rs18.8 million in the account of Zardari Group. The amount was not used to increase the number of shares of a depositor.

“This shows that he is directly linked with the account of Zardari Group as no complaint of misuse of his name/account has ever been made to concerned authorities,” read the report, submitted on August 6.

The FIA disclosed that account of Zardari Group was used to deposit Rs30 million into suspicious bank accounts and later an amount of Rs85 million was transferred from account of Zardari Group to a suspected fake account titled ‘Lucky International’ under the signature of Faryal Talpur.