ISLAMABAD: The top court has issued a written order for shifting from Karachi to Islamabad the three main accused in the multi-billion rupees money laundering case that also involves the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) top leadership.
Anvar Majid, Hussain Lawai and Abdul Ghani Majid are currently under interrogation by a joint investigation team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in connection with the Rs35 billion money laundering scam that was unearthed in June this year.
The FIA team; however, complained to the court that the PPP-led Sindh government was not cooperating with it in provision of documents. The court had also noted that the accused were “passing on instructions through phone” despite their incarceration.
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“In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, after hearing the counsel for both sides and the difficulties involving hurdles being placed in the investigation expressed by the FIA, we consider it appropriate that Anwar Majeed be shifted to PIMS Islamabad and the investigation/interrogation be conducted by JIT in the said hospital.
“Let Abdul Ghani Majeed and Hussain Liwai also be shifted to the Adiala jail Rawalpindi for interrogation by the JIT,” said the seven-page order issued by a two-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The bench also dismissed a plea seeking recovery of two prosecution witnesses, saying both the witnesses are either in hiding or have been “made” to disappear.
“In the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it seems that the witnesses are either hiding themselves purposely or made to disappear. No case for interference has been made out. The applications are therefore dismissed,” the order added.
The court also said it had been informed that on account of unauthorised removal of the pledged stock of sugar – approximately worth Rs12 billion – the creditor banks have initiated criminal prosecution against the directors, mortgagers and guarantors of various companies of the Omni group of the Majids.
“The said matters shall be adjourned sine die till such time that the agreement has been fully implemented and all money payable to the banks has duly been paid. In event of such payment to the satisfaction of the banks, appropriate applications may be moved for the compounding of the offence.
“However in case of default, the banking courts seized of the complaints shall revive the same and proceed against the concerned persons, including chief executive officers, directors, mortgagers and guarantors in accordance with law,” it added.
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The court said complying with is its earlier direction, eight representatives of different banks appeared before the bench on Nov 17 to ascertain whether they arrived at an agreement with the Omni group.
The court also noted that Muhammad Munir Bhatti appearing on behalf of the Omni group gave proposed terms and conditions of the settlement between the parties. On query of the bench, all banks representatives said they were willing to accept the proposal/settlement with the group.
However, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) attorney Naeem Bukhari said, “The bank needs to get approval of this arrangement from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).”
The bench asked the NBP to obtain approval from the SBP. In the meantime, the bench asked the NBP to get all properties offered as collateral security evaluated. The hearing of the case is adjourned till Dec 5.