Money-laundering probe: Hussain Lawai remanded in FIA custody

KARACHI: A local court remanded Hussain Lawai, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency in a money-laundering probe till July 11.

Lawai was arrested by the FIA in connection with alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees. The investigation agency is probing a potential laundering scandal of Rs35 billion implicating a top political leader along with his businessman and banker friends.
The Judicial Magistrate court (South) approved the physical remand of Lawai and another suspect Taha Raza, both of whom were brought before the court earlier today.
The probe was launched after the Financial Monitoring Unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a Suspicious Transaction Report in January this year about 10 bank accounts.
FIA officials say that 32 people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through ‘benami’ accounts.
According to sources, over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at a private bank were allegedly opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made in the accounts. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.

‘Time will tell why I’m being targetted’

Speaking to media following his court appearance, Hussain Lawai said he had no connection whatsoever with the money-laundering case.

“No recovery was made [from me]. I’m president of a bank, not a [mere] branch manager,” he said, adding that he did not know whether he had been arrested due to his ties with Zardari or for some other reason.

“Time will tell why I’m being targetted, whether the money-laundering happened or not.”