Court grants 5-day transit remand in fake accounts case

Ordered NAB to present the three accused before Islamabad NAB court on Monday

Our Correspondent July 12, 2019

KARACHI: The administrative judge of accountability court handed over three officials of Sindh Bank, accused in the fake bank accounts case, to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on a five-day transit remand.

The accused, including Sindh Bank Director Bilal Sheikh, Sindh Bank President Tariq Ahsan and Sindh Bank Executive Vice-President Nadeem Altaf, were arrested by NAB officials and produced before the administrative judge. The NAB prosecutor sought a transit remand of the accused for five days, till Monday.

Counsel for the accused requested the court to limit the remand period to three days. He also asked the court to issue orders for the provision of medicines and clothes to Sheikh, who was unwell. The court ordered that necessary facilities be provided to the accused and granted a transit remand, till Monday. It also ordered the NAB to present the three accused before the Islamabad NAB court on Monday.

According to NAB officials, the accused were arrested in a joint operation by Karachi NAB and Rawalpindi NAB.

It is alleged that Sheikh, who was also the former president of Sindh Bank, is involved in issuing a loan of Rs1 billion to the Omni Group through fake bank accounts. However, speaking to media, Sheikh denied the charges pressed against him.

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"I am not involved in corruption of even a single rupee," he said, adding that he is ready to fight his case in court as he hasn't done anything illegal.

Former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, his sister and Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Faryal Talpur, banker Hussain Lawai and Anwar Majid have also been arrested over accusations of being involved in the same case.

Last warning

Meanwhile, an accountability court issued final warning to former Karachi mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party leader Mustafa Kamal, to appear before the court.

The warning was issued during the hearing of a reference filed against Kamal, Sindh Building Control Authority DG Iftikhar Qaimkhani and others, on allegations of illegal allotment of land, in an accountability court in Karachi. While Qaimkhani and other accused appeared before the court, Kamal did not present himself before the court. Copies of the reference filed by NAB were provided to the accused present in the court.

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The investigation officer (IO) informed the court that a notice was served at Kamal's residence and presented a copy of the documents pertaining to the notice before the court. The court asked the IO to present the original documents and a detailed report about the progress made in the case, in the next hearing. The IO has presented the original documents pertaining to the notice served to Kamal before the court.

The court issued another notice warning Kamal to appear in the next hearing. It warned that if he fails to appear in the next hearing, scheduled to take place of July 27, his arrest orders would be issued.

NAB had filed a reference against Kamal and 11 other accused, alleging that they have been involved in illegal allotment of government land, which has resulted in a loss of Rs2.5 billion to the national treasury.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2019.

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