SHC acquits all accused in Khanani and Kalia money laundering case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday upheld the acquittal of eight accused in a case pertaining to laundering of billions of dollars.

A two-judge bench gave this verdict on an appeal by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against the acquittal of the accused in the Khanani and Kalia money laundering case by a banking court in 2011.

A special banking court in 2011 had exonerated four currency changers and as many bank officials from all charges of opening fake bank accounts for the purpose of money laundering. The accused currency dealers, Abdul Munaf Kalia, his brother Hanif Kalia, and Javed Khanani, had been accused of opening fake bank accounts with the help of bankers – Masood Abbas, Syed Wajahat Ali, Tasleem Ahmed and Arifur Rehman.

They allegedly used the bank accounts for unlawful transfer of billions of dollars abroad. Judge Mir Mohammad Sheikh of the Special Banking Court had ruled that the prosecution failed to provide evidence to prove its case against the accused persons beyond a shadow of doubt.

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The seven accused were out on bail while suspect Javed Khanani had committed suicide. A case (FIR 76/08) was registered against the accused under Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker merchant or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 477-A (falsification of accounts) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code, Sections 5/8 (restriction on payments/restriction on import and export of certain currency and bullion), 22/23 (false statements/penalty and procedure) of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 read with Section 7 (electronic fraud), 8 (electronic forgery) & 20 (other offences) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance at the FIA crime circle, Karachi.

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