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Court asks Customs counsel to produce evidence of money laundering by Ayyan, adjourns case till

RAWALPINDI: The Customs Court Rawalpindi on Tuesday asked Customs prosecutor to produce evidence for filing of a money laundering case against model Ayyan Ali and adjourned the hearing till February 18.

Judge Rana Aftab, who resumed the foreign currency smuggling case against Ayyan Ali, remarked that how could the court order registration of the money laundering case when it had yet to be proved that whether money laundering had occurred.

The court also rejected the request of prosecutor Amin Feroz for recording statements of witnesses, who all were present in the court. How could witnesses’ statements be recorded when the record was with Lahore High Court, the judge remarked.

Advocate Lateef Khosa, counsel for Ayyan Ali, argued that the foreign currency possessed by her client when she was detained at Benazir International Airport, had been earned by her through legal means and not through stealing or corruption.

Khosa said that the Customs authorities played an ‘April Fools’ joke with the state on April 1, 2015, when the case against her was added to the anti-money laundering list.

The Customs counsel argued that it was not the first visit of Ayan Ali to Dubai rather she had visited the United Arab Emirates city for at least 41 times. She used to stay at Burj Khalifa and was caught at the BBIA with lakhs of dollars. A case under Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act should be registered against the model, he added.

Judge Rana Aftab remarked that the court was not interested in listening to stories. He instructed the prosecutor to present the case on legal grounds and with evidences.

The currency smuggling had not yet been proved and the Customs officials wanted registration of money laundering case, he added.

The judge ordered the Customs lawyers not to appear before the court unprepared. 

Ayyan Ali was also present during the proceedings. She was arrested by the Airport Security Force at the BBIA with $506,800 in March 2015.

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