Talpur asks for more time to appear before JIT in Money laundering case

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ISLAMABAD : Faryal Talpur, sister of former president Asif Ali Zardari, on Saturday asked for more time to appear before a Joint Investigation Team to probe into a money laundering case against the siblings.

Zardari and Talpur were summoned by Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) commercial banking circle at 11am, the agency’s officers told Geo News.

The brother-sister duo were to record their statements in relation to a Rs35 billion money laundering case.

Petitioning for more time, Talpur requested for a new date to be fixed to appear before the investigation team.

On behalf of Talpur, her lawyer Muzzamil Qureshi appeared before FIA’s zonal directorate to request the agency to grant his client 15 more days to appear before the JIT. He informed FIA that his client was busy in the banking court to obtain an interim bail.

Furthermore, the petition stated that the interim summons had illegally declared Talpur absconder in the case. The FIA had previously declared former president Zardari and his sister as absconders in the case.

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money-laundering from fictitious accounts, under which Zardari’s close aide and Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai was also arrested earlier this month.

FIA had earlier summoned Talpur and Zardari on July 11, however, the siblings had failed to appear before the agency.

Talpur submitted bail bonds worth Rs2 million to a banking court for a pre-arrest interim bail till August 6.

She had earlier obtained a six-day protective bail from the Sindh High Court (SHC) that ended on Saturday.

The FIA inquiry started when the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a ‘suspicious transaction report’ in January this year regarding ten bank accounts.

Sources maintain that over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at a private bank 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 from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes. But despite these huge transactions, the bank authorities never reported them to the authorities concerned including the FIA.

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