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Zarco chief’spre-arrest bail dismissed

THE Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed a pre-arrest bail of Lakht-e-Hussain, Chief Executive of ZARCO Exchange Company, for his alleged involvement in a huge foreign currency exchange scam.

After the dismissal of the bail, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials arrested him outside the courtroom.

The pre-arrest bail was dismissed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry.

During the course of hearing, Lakht-e-Hussain’s counsel Syed Ali Zafar argued that his client had committed no fraud rather he invested 200 million rupees in Pakistan in 2003 after the State Bank of Pakistan issued him a license, authorizing him to deal in foreign currency exchange.

He said the FIA officials raided the ZARCO’s Ravi Road office in July and arrested seven employees while four of them had been released on bail by the trail court.

He pointed out that FIA officials had also seized the main computer server through which the company was connected to 126 countries. That resulted in closure of the company’s business and caused delay in making payments to people.

Zafar said the Zarco had set up a system in which one person paid money in a foreign country and next moment his money was paid in Pakistan to an authorized person.

He pointed out that his client was residing in America but he came to Pakistan voluntarily to contest the case that showed his bona fide intention.

He said the SBP was also keeping a vigilant eye on company as audit reports were submitted to the bank on regular basis.

The counsel said his client also lodged an FIR against the employees of his company after he got information that they had committed embezzlement. During the hearing, FIA counsel pointed out that crackdown against Zarco and other companies were launched on the directions of SBP and federal government.

He said Zarco officials committed a huge fraud on the people since its inception in 2003 as it was submitting fake audit reports to the SBP and this fact was substantiated from data collected from seized server which was found tempered.

At this, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry said the FIA and SBP officials should also be taken to task who had not taken any action against the company for seven years.

The FIA counsel further said that as per preliminary investigation, Zarco had committed a fraud to the tune of Rs.43 billion. He said the company owed Rs.90 million to affected persons, Rs.110 million to its franchised offices and Rs.500 million to Western Union.

He said Lakht-e-Hussain was the owner of 99.99 shares of the company and he was responsible to discharge all liabilities. Dr Hameed-ud-Din, one of some affectees present in the court, told the court that he had sent amount of $ 12,000 to his son in Ukraine on July 2 but the money had not reached him so far.

A young lady also revealed that Zarco, especially Lakht-e-Hussain, had defrauded her to the tune of Rs.25 lacs.

After hearing the arguments from both parties and the affectees present in the courtroom, the bench dismissed the bail application of Lakht-e-Hussain.

Source: The News

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