Dubai: Pakistan’s beleaguered super model Ayyan Ali has been declared proclaimed offender by a court in a currency smuggling case dating back to 2015.
The special court of customs, excise and taxation issued the orders on Saturday after Ayyan Ali failed to surrender and appear before the court in what is termed as a currency-smuggling case.
Her lawyer sought more time for his client to surrender before the court but Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta turned down the request and declared her a proclaimed offender, Dawn news reported.
The court also gave orders to confiscate the surety bonds of her two guarantors, Shaukat and Nawaz. The bonds are worth Rs550,000 (Dh14,600) and had been deposited as post-arrest bail when Ayyan was released from jail in July 2015.
Ayyan was arrested on March 14, 2015, for allegedly attempting to smuggle $506,800 in cash to the UAE past the Airports Security Force personnel at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.
Her arrest created quite a media frenzy as her name was linked to a high profile politician. It was alleged that she was a conduit for their money laundering operations.
Her name was also entangled in the alleged murder of a customs official as an arrest warrant was issued in her name by a magistrate in Rawalpindi. But the apex court on July 22, 2016, suspended said warrant.
The government had also put her name on the Exit Control List but a Supreme Court bench headed by former chief justice Saqib Nisar allowed her to go abroad. After being granted bail, she travelled to Dubai.
A senior official told Gulf News that they would try to reach Ayyan in Dubai to serve the court notice. “She may be repatriated to Pakistan if the court decides to issue [a] red notice and place her name on the Interpol wanted liss but so far no such decision has been made,” he added.
Last October, the special customs court in Rawalpindi issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Ayyan as she had been absconding from trial in this currency smuggling case having left the country and not attending the court’s proceedings.