Over Rs 10,000 crore laundered through fake bank accounts: JIT to Pakistan’s Supreme Court

Islamabad | Over Rs 10,000 crore were laundered allegedly through fake bank accounts, mostly of poor people, the joint investigation team probing the scam has informed the Pakistan Supreme Court, a media report said.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which submitted its second report in the case to the apex court on Monday, said that what started as fictitious bank accounts evolved into an extremely complicated scam of money laundering crossing Rs 100 billion, the GeoNews reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating large-scale money laundering cases after the Supreme Court appointed the JIT to probe into the into the money laundering cases. In many cases dormant accounts of poor people have been activated with connivance of some bank officials for huge transactions. The JIT has been probing since September into the money laundering cases revealing several suspicious accounts.

The FIA is investigating 32 people in connection with money laundering from fictitious accounts, including former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe. The former president’s another close aide and his son were also arrested by the FIA in August.

The probes so far have revealed that several ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered allegedly from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes, the report said.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Interior barred 95 individuals, suspected to be involved in the case, from leaving the country. Of these, 78 were placed on the Exit Control List and 17 on the FIA’s provisional national identification list (PNIL) or ‘stop list’, it said.

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