Karachi: Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Saturday were declared as absconders by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in connection with a money laundering case.
A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar, took suo motu notice of the FIA’s investigation into the Pakistani (Rs.) 35 billion money-laundering scam.
Also, 20 others including Zardari’s close aide Anwar Majeed and his son were declared as absconders by the FIA.
On July 18, the names of Zardari and Talpur were removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, according to sources.
Prior to this, Zardari and Talpur’s names were placed on the ECL on the orders of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, sources told Geo TV earlier.
However, on July 12, the country’s apex court had refuted reports that it did not place the brother-sister duo on the ECL and did not issue directives to prevent them from leaving the country in connection to their alleged involvement in the money-laundering scam.
Earlier on July 10, the FIA had issued notices to Zardari and Talpur, in regards to the case involving swindling of (Pakistani) Rs. 35 billion.
They were also summoned by the FIA for questioning. However, the country’s top court had directed the agency to take up the case after the general elections on July 25.
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.