General

Money laundering case: SC constitutes committee for Anwar Majeed’s medical examination

The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a committee, headed by Surgeon General of Pakistan, to medically examine two accused in a money laundering case.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had filed the petition for the medical examination of Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed. 
As the hearing went under way, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Medical Superintendent Dr Seemin Jamali appeared in court. The chief justice remarked that he had not taken the doctor to be weak. 
“I supported you each time you approached the court. But, how is it possible that you have not been able to diagnose a patient?” Justice Nisar said.  
The chief justice admonished Dr Jamali for a delay in the diagnosis of two accused in a money laundering case. He further said he had kept Dr Jamali’s integrity intact by not going near the MRI machine during his visit to JPMC. “Who was inside the MRI machine that day?” the chief justice asked Dr Jamali.
“You have been unable to diagnose a single patient? Is this not the Sindh government’s failure,” Justice Nisar said. 
Advocate Aisha Hamid, the defence counsel, contended that the matter was already being looked into by the relevant court. She stressed that the Supreme Court should not get involved in the case. To this, the chief justice responded by saying, “Why is the Sindh government hesitant to get an independent check-up done?” 
In response, Advocate Hamid said the matter pertains to Sindh hence Punjab doctors should not conduct the medical examination of her clients. 
Justice Umer Ata Bandial, who was on the bench hearing the case, advised Advocate Hamid to avoid linking the matter to provinces. The chief justice further added that the accused will be shifted to Islamabad. 
The hearing was then adjourned till September 24. 
The case
The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July in connection with the probe.
Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.
Previously the amount laundered from these fictitious accounts was said to be Rs32 billion, however, FIA officials said late last month they found at least 15 more suspicious bank accounts, four of which have been confirmed as fake. A total of Rs6 billion were laundered via these four fake or ‘benami’ accounts.
After the disclosure, the total amount of money laundered via fake bank accounts climbed to Rs41 billion.