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ISLAMABAD: A prosecution witness in Park Lane case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others, on Thursday, told the Accountability Court that M/s Parthenon is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witness and joint registrar SECP Ahsan Aslam, while testifying before Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in the Park Lane case said that M/s Parthenon is registered with the SECP as per company rules.

The witness said this, when he was asked by Zardari's counsel Farooq H Naek during the cross examination about M/s Parthenon company registration with SECP.

Aslam said that M/s Parthenon was registered with the SECP on September 3, 2009.

However, according to the NAB, Zardari and others had allegedly embezzled funds obtained for M/s Parthenon (Private) Limited and M/s Park Lane (Private) Limited, which inflicted losses of Rs3.77 billion to the national exchequer.

As per the joint investigation team (JIT)'s report on fake accounts, it was found that the M/s Parthenon was merely a "front company" (straw borrower) of M/s Park Lane (Private) Limited.

M/s Parthenon had no independent business when it entered into a joint venture (JV) with the M/s Park Lane (October 2009), it said.

Naek asked the witness what position did he hold in the SECP in 2009 and 2010?

The witness replied that he was posted as deputy director Security Market Division Karachi in 2009-10.

What position did you hold in 2019, Naek asked the witness?

At this, the prosecution witness said that he was posted as jointed registrar Companies Registration SECP, Karachi in 2019.

The defense counsel asked the witness that did he take permission from his senior for submitting document before the NAB.

The witness replied in negative.

Zardari's counsel asked the witness that how many deputy registrars were being posted in Karachi from 2008 to 2009 and 2011 to 2013?

The witness said that he did not know that how many deputy registrars were appointed in the above mentioned period in Karachi.

Naek asked the witness that how many deputy registrars were appointed in his division?

Five to six registrars may be appointed in the Market Security Division, the witness replied.

The court adjourned hearing of the case till July 15, after Naek completed cross-examination of the witness.

Those who were nominated by the NAB in the supplementary reference filed in connection with the Park Lane case include, Zardari, Muhammad Iqbal Memon, director Park Lane Company, M/s Park Lane Estate (Private) Limited, Muhammad Iqbal Khan Noori director M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Ltd, Muhammad Hanif Accountant M/s Park Lane Estate, M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Limited, an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the Companies Ordinance 1984, and Hussain Lawai, former president Arif Habib Bank, and the Summit Bank.

The other accused include Abdul Ghani Majid, shareholder/director Regent Service (Pvt) Ltd multiple companies known as Omni Group, Khawaja Anwar Majid shareholder director Omni Group, Taha Raza public relationship manager Arif Habib Bank now Summit Bank, Farooq Abdullah area branch manager HBL, UzairNaeem former AVP Summit Bank, M/s Tracom (Pvt) Ltd through GM south-an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the companies office, Muhammad Saleem Faisal General Manager (GM) M/s Tracom (Pvt) Limited, and Zahir Ismail.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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