Ayyan laundering money for political heavyweights since 2011, investigators reveal

Published: April 5, 2015


ISLAMABAD: The interrogation of supermodel Ayyan in a money laundering case has led investigators to an intricate nexus between the country’s fashion industry and political heavyweights.

The model has made stunning disclosures during her interrogation, naming several politicians and businessmen who used her services to stash cash abroad, according to officials attached with the investigation of this case, which is likely to be referred to a special team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Background discussions and interviews with the supermodel’s family and friends reveal she has admitted to taking money abroad since 2011. Despite several attempts, the people named by Ayyan during interrogation did not respond.

The model-cum-singer was arrested on March 14 at the Islamabad airport for allegedly trying to board a plane to Dubai with $500,000 in her baggage. Passengers are not allowed to carry more than $10,000 out of the country. She was later charged with money laundering and sent to jail on remand.

Before her arrest, Ayyan had been travelling frequently to Europe and the UAE where she was said to be pursuing a career in music and modelling. She has not participated in the domestic fashion scene since last April.

After a modelling show in Karachi in March 2014, investigators say, she travelled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and extensively in Europe, including London, Germany, Romania, Italy and France.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Saad
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:12PM

    Why cant the businessmen and politicians be named here?Recommend

  • Uzair
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:13PM

    Oh wow! I am sure this is also a conspiracy of male chauvinists to exploit naive and defenseless women. Recommend

  • shahzad
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:21PM

    This is not something new. Let us know the name of those Gentlemen & bring them to Justice. Which will never happens:)Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2015 - 5:24PM

    Superb! Great business by Showbiz ppl.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:38PM

    The time is up for Ayan Ali and her facilitators.Recommend

  • Tariq Mahmood
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:52PM

    Seize all her property and valuables and where it can be proven that her finances were used, that of her family members. Pakistan needs to stand tall against such corrupt individuals. Introduce laws like the Proceeds of Crime Act in the UK, where all property of individuals who benefit from their criminal activities is seized and the burden of proof put squarely on them to provide evidence to the contrary.Recommend

  • Chachoo
    Apr 5, 2015 - 5:56PM

    For me the confusing part is that when She was able to evade Customs in Pakistan but how come she evaded European and Middle east custom checks on her arrivals as well?. In Europe and Middle east you can be arrested on money laundering. ?Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 5, 2015 - 6:08PM

    The names of culprits must be disclosed and everyone should be charged. Its a test case for agencies and media.Recommend

  • Atheist_Pakistani
    Apr 5, 2015 - 7:04PM

    I’m amused. How about now interrogate these political “heavy weights” and maybe, JUST maybe jail them?Recommend

  • Atif nazar
    Apr 5, 2015 - 7:43PM

    This story is none but height of exaggeration and fantasy. The text of the story shows evidently how bogus and fraudulent it is. Express tribune seems to have an inexplicable and unnerving urge to stoop lower than Urdu newspapers of this country and it has definitely succeeded in achieving it’s cheap desire. Thanks for loosing my readershipRecommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Apr 5, 2015 - 8:13PM

    ET.What kind of journalism is it, if you know the names of the people she is working for or laundering money then spill it out, don’t you think people has the right to know who are representing them, if indeed they are some big wigs as you call them. Couriers are small cogs in the money laundering racket, if she has already divulged the names then she should be released on bail, there is no need to keep her there unless some one wants her to be there.Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2015 - 8:30PM

    I will request honorable court to find who are those big fishes and catch them in net quicker.Recommend

  • outlander
    Apr 5, 2015 - 8:58PM

    she had a dream job :)Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Apr 5, 2015 - 9:00PM

    If heavy weights invloved nothing will happen.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Apr 5, 2015 - 9:08PM

    Where are the name, ET?Recommend

  • awais
    Apr 5, 2015 - 9:08PM

    make an example out of herRecommend

  • singh
    Apr 5, 2015 - 9:26PM

    If she had been laundering money since 2011, where were custom officers in those days?Recommend

  • nadeem
    Apr 5, 2015 - 9:46PM

    She’s an adult, she walked into this predicament on her ownRecommend

  • Raj NYC
    Apr 5, 2015 - 10:10PM

    She has given a whole new meaning to the word Modeling…

    Hope she names names, and has CNN recording it when she does so. If not, it will get swept under some carpet…

    Cheers and PeaceRecommend

  • Rameez
    Apr 5, 2015 - 11:01PM

    This Ayaan case has been blown way out of proportion. According to the SBP tens of millions of dollars are couriered out of the country every week with the connivance of customs officials:


    The $500k she was taking out was but a drop in the bucket. If they were serious about stopping money laundering they would do something about the corruption in their own ranks.Recommend

    Apr 5, 2015 - 11:04PM

    Names of those Politicians & Businessmen should be made public and those people should be punished for using this model for money laundering Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 5, 2015 - 11:14PM

    The more she discloses the more the chances of actual names and crimes never being disclosed to the public…….let us not forget this is a country with ZERO accountability for the rich and powerful. Recommend

  • Qamer
    Apr 5, 2015 - 11:32PM

    Whole society has become corrupt. When people say education eradicate the all ills from society but I think in this case even education could not do anything. Greed and lust for money has nothing to do with education. I hope justice must be served in this case.Recommend

  • zaheer
    Apr 6, 2015 - 1:06AM

    There must be a strong investigation against those whose names are taken by Ayyan Ali, and they must be brought to the dock of court because she is just a pawn in the complicated game of ‘money laundering’ chess. She can also lead investigators to check accounts of all those politicians for whom she had long been working, and this can surely lead investigators to have strong proves against the wicked so called ‘representatives’ of public. Once, there are a few of them behind the bars and spending their terms, I am sure, the corruption by the others will see a great decline, or at least the money laundering by them would be reduced as per percentage. Recommend

  • Raisani
    Apr 6, 2015 - 1:23AM

    She’s going to be another Uzair Baloch for PPP. Recommend

  • whatfuss
    Apr 6, 2015 - 4:21AM

    Just saying, she aint all that. For real. Esp without make-upRecommend

  • A. Khan
    Apr 6, 2015 - 4:47AM

    As I said at the time of arrest, there is more to this than a simple case of her taking her money abroad.

    Can we get some names please ? And what was Ayyan getting out of this ?Recommend

  • Shakil Khan
    Apr 6, 2015 - 4:50AM

    Why these media outlets are so scared to name and shame these heavy weights?Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Apr 6, 2015 - 8:37AM

    Poor thing!Recommend

  • Diretide
    Apr 6, 2015 - 9:18AM

    The main culprits in this case should be the political heavyweights that she had named, and not her. If this will not be the case then its all useless.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Apr 6, 2015 - 9:34AM

    She should be released immediately for serving the law makers of the country.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 6, 2015 - 10:10AM

    Only in Pakistan each and every criminal caught red-handed becomes most reliable witness to throw allegations. Even is she was being used she should get full punishment and the others investigated. Her testimony is not reliable to say the least. In fact is she has been used several times then she is a hardened and repeat criminal. One thing is funny why would a very rich and powerful use her to smuggle only half a million not a lot more? Or the rich and powerful have no other means like hawala? Recommend

  • Dija
    Apr 6, 2015 - 10:30AM

    Her life may be in danger and needs protection, the culprits involved may try to harm her and the government (if not involved amongst the culprit) should provide protection to this girl.Recommend

  • Abdul
    Apr 6, 2015 - 12:36PM

    @Uzair: You are a genius..You could have solved some of the biggest problems in social sciences.Recommend

  • Urban Legend
    Apr 6, 2015 - 1:23PM

    Politicians aren’t named because they are not from MQM. Rest of the country has flexible laws :-)Recommend

  • MJ
    Apr 6, 2015 - 7:28PM

    Ummm … How was she evading scanners and security checks at the customs in the countries of arrival? I understand her being able to bribe her way out of Pakistani airports, but what about her various destinations?Recommend

  • ahan
    Apr 6, 2015 - 10:55PM

    @MJ u evidently dont travel a lot…customs on arrivals in places like dubai are lax..u can walk through the green channel if u have nothing to declare..u r NOT scanned per se. people are usually caught if there is a tipoff..also airport security is more tuned towards drugs being smuggled in, for which at heathrow they employ sniffer dogs to suss out people passing through green channel…obv the dog cant sniff ‘money’…Recommend

  • MJ
    Apr 7, 2015 - 4:10AM

    @Ahan .. You may be right about Dubai .. I have visited Dubai only 5 times, 3 of which were just transits on my way to Karachi. However I do travel a lot in North America and Europe and have personally seen people being searched for whatever it is that the customs are looking for. If you ever go to an Airport like JFK, Hartsfield Jackson, Flughafen, Pearson or Heathrow you will see special screening rooms full of people, mostly immigrants or non-white being searched in detail. I am not just talking about Brown skinned or Muslims being singled out. I am talking about Asians (Chinese), Africans and Eastern Europeans in particular. Specially the ones with big, heavy or additional luggage. As far as green channel is concerned, there is no such thing in US, Canad or UK. Every piece of luggage goes through a scanner at arrival. People exit through the immigration points but their luggage is surely being scanned. What I don’t know of is if there are any scanners that can identify currency stuffed between clothes automatically without a person screening the monitors. Recommend

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