Money laundering scam: FIA summons Zardari on August 4

Karachi: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday summoned former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in connection to a money laundering case on August 4.

It has slapped notices to the brother-sister duo and ordered them to appear before a joint investigation team.

On July 28, Zardari and Talpur failed to appear before the FIA’s joint investigation team. The sibling duo was summoned to the FIA office by 11 am (local time) to record their statements. However, their lawyers appeared on their behalf and submitted replies to the joint investigation team, Samaa TV reported.

Meanwhile, Talpur filed a petition asking for more time to appear before the joint investigation team.

Last week, Zardari and Faryal were declared as absconders by the FIA in connection with the aforementioned case. A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, took suo motu notice of the FIA’s investigation into the money-laundering scam.

At least 20 others, including Zardari’s close aide Anwar Majeed and his son, were also declared as absconders by the FIA.

In January this year, the FIA inquiry began when the State Bank of Pakistan’s financial monitoring unit issued a “suspicious transaction report” on ten bank accounts. Transactions worth billions were made over the years when over 20 ‘benami’ accounts were opened at a private bank.

At least 32 people are under legal scanner by the FIA for laundering money from fictitious accounts. Zardari, however, has denied such allegations.

On July 6, the FIA had arrested Stock Exchange of Pakistan chairman Hussain Lawai, who is considered to be Zardari’s close aide.