SC orders govt to review decision to place money laundering suspects on ECL

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered the federal government to review its decision to place 172 individuals including prominent politicians on the Exit Control List, as it resumed hearing the long-running mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case on Monday. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who is leading a two-judge bench hearing the suo motu case, expressed anger at the inclusion of Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah and others on the no-fly list and questioned how the federal government could justify adding 172 individuals to the ECL. A Joint Investigation Team probing the money laundering case had held the Zardari and Omni groups responsible in its report submitted to the apex court last Monday. The report had also suggested that all the suspects in the case be placed on the ECL. In view of the JIT findings, the federal government on Friday released a list of 172 suspects whose names were placed on the no-fly list. The list included Bilawal, Zardari, Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, presidents of a number of local banks, and other former ministers and bureaucrats. Irked at the government's move, the chief justice wondered how all these individuals could be barred from flying. "How can the chief executive of the country's second-biggest province be put on the ECL?" Justice Nisar asked the attorney-general in attendance.

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