Asif Zardari disavows money laundering allegations

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday rejected the money laundering allegations leveled against him, Newsone reported. 

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“I deny all the allegation that are being established on me”, he said in an interview given to private news channel.

Former president decided that his party will not boycott the upcoming elections 2018. “There is no point of boycotting the elections and his party is not going to do that” he added.

Asif Ali Zardari said that he would appear before the judiciary and give justifications in the the court room when he would be summoned.

“I will appear before the court the very next day the court sends me the notice”, he claimed.

“This is not the right time for accountability. Why all such cases are being opened just before the elections?”, he added.

The PPP co-chairman condemned the arrest of former PSX chairman and his close friend Hussain Lawai. “Hussain Lawai is being tortured under detention and I condemn this behavior being done with him,” said Zardari.

“I will face all the cases infact I have faced such cases in past too, Whatever is coming in our way, we are going to deal with it in a democratic way,” said former president.

He also criticized Nawaz Sharif  that he had not defended himself properly in the court trial.

“Nawaz Sharif’s political role will be decided by the situations to come. We have saved Nawaz once but this time had not faced his trial in a peculiar manner,” he said.

Earlier today Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur submitted their reply in FIA stating that both will appear before the investigators after the July 25 general election as they are busy in the upcoming polls.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday summoned Pakistan peoples’ party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and sister Faryal Talpur on July 11 (today) in a money laundering case.

According to details, FIA in a notice has summoned both PPP leaders in order to record their statement  in a case pertaining to suspicious transactions of Rs35 billion carried out through fake bank accounts.

On Monday the apex court summoned PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others on July 12 in money laundering scam.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case related to money laundering.

During the hearing the apex court directed former president, his sister Faryal Talpur, seven fake bank account holders and 13 beneficiaries to appear before court on July 12 in a case related to money laundering scam involving Rs35 billion.

The seven account holders are Tariq Sultan, Erum Aqeel, Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Iqbal Arain, Muhammad Umair, Adnan Javed and Qasim Ali.

The beneficiaries include Nasir Abdullah, Ansari Sugar Mills, Omani Polymer Packages, Pak Ethanol Private Limited, Chambar Sugar Mills, Agro Farm Thatta, Zardari Group, Parthenon Private Limited, AOne International, Lucky International, Logistic Trading, Royal International and Ameer Associate.

The Supreme Court also summoned heads of three private banks in connection with a case on dubious transactions executed using bogus accounts.

Earlier in a day, the Interior Ministry  denied placing Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on a no-fly list.

A local court on Saturday remanded Hussain Lawai, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency in a money-laundering probe till July 11.

Lawai was arrested by the FIA on Friday in connection with alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees. The investigation agency is probing a potential laundering scandal of Rs35 billion implicating a top political leader along with his businessman and banker friends.

The Judicial Magistrate court (South) approved the physical remand of Lawai and another suspect Taha Raza, both of whom were brought before the court earlier today.

The probe was launched after the Financial Monitoring Unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a Suspicious Transaction Report in January this year about 10 bank accounts.

FIA officials say that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through ‘benami’ accounts.

According to sources, over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at a private bank were allegedly opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made in the accounts. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.

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