Pandora Papers Name 700 Pakistanis For Hiding Wealth

The Pandora Papers has revealed names of 700 Pakistani individuals and members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet, inner circle, including cabinet ministers, their families and major financial backers, who have secretly owned an array of companies and trusts holding millions of dollars of hidden wealth, according to Internation Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The documents revealed on Sunday more than 700 Pakistani names.
Among those whose holdings have been exposed are Khan’s finance minister, Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin, and his family, and the son of Khan’s former adviser for finance and revenue, Waqar Masood Khan. The records also reveal the offshore dealings of a top PTI donor, Arif Naqvi, who is facing fraud charges in the US, according to ICIJ.

Pakistan’s civilian government and military leaders who have been hiding vast amounts of wealth in a country plagued by widespread poverty and tax avoidance, said ICIJ.

According to ARY News, “the owner of two offshore companies registered at a similar address as of Prime Minister Imran Khan has revealed that they were registered by him on a different address and denied any role of the premier in this regard.”

According to the ICIJ, Pakistan’s elites use of offshore services that rivals the findings of the Panama Papers, which led to Sharif’s downfall and helped propel Imran Khan to power three years ago.

The revelations are part of the Pandora Papers, a new global investigation into the shadowy offshore financial system that allows multinational corporations, the rich, famous and powerful to avoid taxes and otherwise shield their wealth. The probe is based on more than 11.9 million confidential files from 14 offshore services firms leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with 150 news organisations around the world, according to ICIJ.

In 2007, Pakistani General Shafaat Ullah Shah’s wife acquired a $1.2 million apartment in London through a discreet offshore transaction. Notably, he had been a close aide of then-president Pervez Musharraf.

The document has also revealed many key military leaders of Pakistan and intergenerational wealth transfer.

The findings offer a portrait of an unaccountable military elite with extensive personal and family offshore holdings.

Pakistan Prime Minister is surrounded with people – cabinet ministers and their families, donors and other political allies – who have holdings hidden offshore, according to ICIJ.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and some members of his family own four offshore companies.

Omer Bakhtyar, the brother of Khan’s minister for industries, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, transferred a $1 million apartment in the Chelsea area of London to his elderly mother through an offshore company in 2018, as per ICIJ.

Faisal Vawda, Khan’s former minister for water resources set up an offshore company in 2012 to invest in UK properties. He resigned in March amid a controversy over his status as a dual US-Pakistan national. The financial backers of Imran Khan are prominent in leaked documents, according to ICIJ.

The files detail the offshore activities of more than 29,000 accounts. Among them: More than 130 Forbes list billionaires and over 330 public officials around the globe.

The Pandora Papers expose the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion & corruption & laundered out to financial “havens”.

Imran Khan said that he will launch an inquiry over the matter, He tweeted, “The UN SG’s Panel FACTI calculated a staggering $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in largely offshore tax-havens.” (ANI)

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