Pakistan

Customs court issues arrest warrants of Ayyan Ali

RAWALPINDI: While dismissing the plea of supermodel Ayyan Ali seeking exemption from her appearance before the court, the Rawalpindi customs court issued bailable warrants for her arrest over her perpetual failure to turn up before it, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

At the outset, the judge expressed extreme annoyance over the absence of the supermodel, observing that accused persons usually travel abroad but they return to face charges in courts, however, the model has been absent since December 16, 2016.

The trial court, therefore, issued warrants for her arrest over her continuous failure to appear before the court and ordered the law enforcement to arrest and produce her in the court. The hearing was put off until June 21.

Ayyan has been facing charges of money laundering for trying to smuggle $506,000 out of the country. She was arrested on March 14, 2015, after customs officials recovered a huge amount from her luggage at the Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport before she could board a flight to Dubai.

The court had indicted Ayyan in November 2015 for attempting to smuggle more than $500,000, however, she pleaded ‘not guilty’ and opted to contest charges.

She was granted bail in July 2015 after remaining incarcerated for nearly four months in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Supermodel Ayyan Ali left for Dubai in a foreign airlines flight on February 23 this year after the Ministry of Interior removed her name from the Exit Control List (ECL) in compliance with a Supreme Court order on January 30, 2017.

The apex court in a verdict, allowed Ayyan Ali to travel abroad upholding the earlier verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC), which had ordered the government to remove Ayyan Ali’s name from the ECL on January 19.

In its verdict, the SHC had stated that the interior ministry had put her name on the ECL with malafide intention.

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