One of the chief accused in the ongoing ‘fake’ accounts case, Aslam Masood, was arrested by Interpol on Tuesday as he was boarding a flight from London to Jeddah, DawnNewsTV reported quoting security sources.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) hailed the arrest of Masood — the chief financial officer of the Omni Group of Companies and the “mastermind” behind the scheme to move illicit funds through fake accounts, according to the FIA — as a “breakthrough” in the case. He is one of the chief suspects in the case, along with 19 other suspects including former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.
The Supreme Court (SC) had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Masood, who was declared an absconder, in August. The court had also issued non-bailable arrest warrants against other absconding suspects, including Nasser Abdullah Lootah, Nimr Majeed, Arif Khan, Adnan Javed, Mohammad Umair, Mohammad Iqbal Arain, Azam Wazir Khan, Zain Malik and Mustafa Zulqernain.
Masood, according to his red warrant, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, is accused of forgery, cheating, impersonation, corruption and money laundering.
An initial probe into the case had suggested that Rs35bn were transferred through fake accounts opened in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL. However, a recent report submitted to the SC by a joint investigation team (JIT) that is probing the case, revealed that transactions to the tune of Rs54bn may have been made through 107 fake bank accounts.
JIT head Ahsan Sadiq in his report said that several bank accounts used in suspicious transactions were opened for a brief period of time and were closed after the transfer of money was completed.