A division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued notices to the federal government and customs officials on a bail application moved by Ayan Ali. The court sought replies from the respondents within a week.
The LHC bench, comprising Justice Anwarul Haq and Justice Arshad Mahmood Tabassum, heard the petition.
Appearing before the court, Ayan’s counsel submitted that the customs officials had arrested her and implicated her in a false case.
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He said she had been behind bars for four months. “Under the Customs Act, a woman can be granted bail if the investigation has been completed. The investigation into the case has been completed. So, Ayan should be released on bail,” he said. He said the case was part of a wider conspiracy. “The Customs officials implicated her in the money laundering case even though she had neither been issued a boarding card nor her passport had been stamped when she was arrested.
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Therefore, she does not fall under the definition of a traveller. In such a situation, the registration of a money laundering case against her cannot be justified,” he said. Ayan was taken into custody on March 14 from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, after $506,800 was found in her handbag. She is being held in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.
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