FIA picks up Zardari’s close aide

KARACHI  -  Federal Investigation Agency Friday arrested Hussain Lawai, a senior banker and a closed aide of former president of Pakistan and PPP co-chairperson, Asif Ali Zardari, from Karachi.

Lawai, a prominent banker and chairperson of Pakistan Stock Exchange, was taken into custody by Federal Investigation Agency in connection with alleged bank transactions worth billions of rupees.

On Friday, Lawai was initially barred from travelling to Dubai and sent to the FIA Karachi office for recording his statement in an inquiry.

The FIA officials did not confirm the arrest, but the sources privy to the matter confirmed the arrest. They also revealed another person identified as Raza Hussain was also arrested over the same charges. The charge for which he was arrested was involvement in the corruption of Rs 35 billion. The FIA initiated an inquiry into the case in 2015 and notices were issued to Hussain Lawai and several others.

“The FIA had investigated and found at least four ‘benami’ companies about three to four years ago through which transactions worth Rs 20 billion were made. However, the FIA investigators found addresses of three companies fake while the fourth one was owned by one Tariq Sultan, an employee of a sugar mills tycoon, Anwar Majeed. It was also revealed during the investigations that the transactions of the said amount at ‘benami’ companies were made through the accounts of Pakistan’s top property tycoon and companies of the Sindh government contractors. “The ‘benami’ accounts at the Summit Bank were allegedly opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and transactions worth billions of rupees were made through these accounts.

“Such transactions were made for corruption purposes,” a source revealed. “The FIA, during investigations of the fake companies’ accounts, also revealed close confidants of Anwar Majeed and Hussain Lawai were operating them.” The sources further said they had so far found at least 29 accounts of the Summit bank, UBL and Sindh Bank. The State Bank Circle of the FIA registered FIR No 4/18 against Hussain Lawai, Anwar Majeed, his son, Abdul Ghani, senior banker Raza, Omni Group’s executive Arif Khan and Aslam Masood. Further investigation was underway. This is the second such arrest in more than a week as another confidant of Zardari, Ismail Dahiri, had been arrested from Nawabshah.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, addressing a press conference in Badin on Thursday, alleged PPP loyalists were being forced to switch loyalties before the polls.




ePaper - Nawaiwaqt