By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on December 24 into fake accounts probe for JV-Opal-225, a joint venture of Zardari Group Ltd.
The PPP chairman has been asked to appear before the NAB Rawalpindi office on December 24 (Tuesday) at 11:00 am.
According to sources, the Opal-225 (referred in tax record is a joint investment of Zardari Group Ltd) was initiated on October 15, 2011. In 2009, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father became shareholders of the company.
Both of them have a stake of 25 percent each in the company.
Allegedly, billions of rupees were transferred to the company’s accounts via fake bank accounts. The company took out loans of billions of rupees from the banks.
Earlier, on December 9, the National Accountability Bureau filed eight referencess in the fake bank accounts case in the NAB court.
According to the NAB, reference was lodged against alleged embezzlement in the Sindh Bank funds of worth billions.
More than 20 accused including Bilal Shaikh, Tariq Ahsan and others have been named in the reference, over accusations of awarding loan of worth Rs.29 billion to the OMNI group.
According to the reference Rs.25 bn out of 29bn still have to be repaid. Loan of Rs. 1.184bn was granted to OMNI group via fake companies, while 1.84 billions of rupees
Fake Bank Accounts Case
The anti-graft watchdog is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, his aunt Faryal Talpur, former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, provincial minister Anwar Siyal, others are among as many as 172 accused in the fake accounts case.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted bail to former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds.
A two-member special bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Chief Justice IHC, Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq heard the bail plea of Asif Ali Zardari seeking his release on medical grounds.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC), in its December 17 judgment, had also approved the interim bail of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central leader Faryal Talpur in fake bank accounts case.
By Shakeel Ahmed