NAB has recovered Rs33 billion in Asif Zardari’s fake accounts case: Fawad Chaudhry – Press Release

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addressing an event. — PID/File
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addressing an event. — PID/File
  • The recovered amount translates to $200 million, says Fawad.
  • Fawad says total amount to be recovered is Rs5,000 billion.
  • He says recovery shows level of corruption of previous leaders.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has recovered Rs33 billion so far in a fake accounts case involving former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Saturday.

The information minister, in a tweet, said the amount translates to $200 million, while the total amount of financial irregularities, according to the case that is registered, is a whopping Rs5,000 billion.

“This recovery gives one an idea of the level of corruption that was taking place and how rulers looted Sindh and Pakistan,” the information minister added.

Last week, the information minister, addressing a rally in Pind Dadan Khan, had vehemently criticised the Opposition and said the only way forward for Pakistan is to get rid of the Nawaz and Zardari families.

Taking a jibe at PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, he said that she used to claim that she did not own any property in Pakistan, let alone in London.

“Maryam Nawaz has been telling lie after lie,” Fawad said.

He said that Bilawal has been delivering speeches related to the Kashmir elections, screaming at the top of his lungs, but he does not seem to be aware of his party’s true position in the region.

What is the fake bank accounts case all about?

In October 2015, the anti-corruption wing of the Federal Investigation Agency in Karachi received a tip-off of suspicious intra-bank transactions from the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank, and the United Bank Limited.

The profiles of the account holders did not match their earnings/income. FIA authorities suspected that these accounts were being run by the Zardari Group and Omni Group, amongst others.

The case dragged on until June 2018, when the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the fake accounts and directed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.

The investigation team concluded that 32 fake bank accounts were being operated by 11 fake entities to launder money from “kickbacks, land grabbing and large scale misappropriation of public funds.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari; his sister Faryal Talpur; Hussain Lowai, the then-president Summit Bank; Nasser Abdullah Lootah, the chairman of Summit Bank, Chairman Omni Group Anver Majid and his son are the prime suspects in the case.

The JIT also concluded from the investigation that the Omni Group had immensely benefited from the transactions. The investigation team stated that the group had a “startling and unprecedented (abnormal) growth from 2009 onwards,” interestingly, after the PPP came into power.

From 2008 to 2013, the company grew at a whopping 2,500% and added a total of 83 companies under its umbrella. The growth percentage fell to 142% after 2013 when the PPP lost the central government.