A special customs court on Tuesday issued arrest warrant for National Testing Service (NTS) Director Haroon Rasheed in a reference of money laundering and tax evasion worth more than Rs2 billion against him.
The court of Justice Muhommad Sheraz Kayani ordered the authorities to produce the NTS chief on the next hearing.
On the request of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the court also froze all direct and indirect assets as well as bank accounts of NTS CEO Sherzada Khan, Dr Junaid Zaidi, Dr Muhammad Suhail, Dr Izhar Hussain and Dr Shahid Awan and sent notices to them.
Taking up the reference filed by government prosecutor Muhammad Amin Feroze on behalf of the FBR’s intelligence and investigation department, the court set January 13 for charge-sheeting the accused persons.
The court also ordered each of the accused to deposit Rs100,000 worth of surety bonds, besides bringing a guarantor.
As the hearing began, the court inquired about the absence of one of the accused. Another accused, present during the hearing, replied that his whereabouts were unknown, adding that he had gone abroad, but it was not clear whether or not he had returned.
Acting NTS chief refuses to budge
The court remarked that it was a foreclosure case and absence would not be tolerated.
On the court orders, the accused submitted the certificates of their lawyers also.
Government prosecutor Feroze, who is also an advocate of the Supreme Court, said that the reference regarding anti-money laundering act and tax evasion act had been filed after thorough investigation and inquiry.
“We have concrete proofs and documentary evidence of money laundering and tax evasion against the accused. This is an appalling white colour crime. The accused deserve strict punishment,” he said.
Talking to Daily Express, the prosecutor said that under the sections of the reference, the accused could get 14 years in prison or three years with a hefty fine.
Fear was evident on the faces of culprits during the hearing.
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