Pakistani money in offshore entities
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135 Pakistanis named in Paradise Papers
Names of several Pakistanis, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz among them, have surfaced in the new database of documents, Paradise Papers, released by the International Consortium of Journalists Sunday night.
According to a report in The News, as many as 135 Pakistani individuals with accounts in a Swiss bank were also identified which they either created in their own name or through offshore companies.
Some of the prominent individuals:
Former PM Shaukat Aziz
Aziz was an employee of Citibank before becoming Pakistan's finance minister and then prime minister in General (retd) Pervez Musharraf's government.
He was one of the shareholders and directors of Bahamas-registered Cititrust Limited from 1997 to 1999, along with other executives of the bank.
In 1999, Aziz was appointed finance minister and created the Antarctic Trust. The Antarctic Trust's beneficiaries include Aziz’s wife, their children and granddaughter.
Aziz had set up the trust in Delaware (USA) before becoming finance minister. Interestingly, the trust was neither declared to the tax and election authorities during his stint as finance minister nor as prime minister.
Speaking through his attorney in New York, Aziz said that he didn’t have to declare the trust in Pakistan as he was a settlor.
When asked if his wife or children declared the trust, he responded that they didn’t have to declare because they were beneficiaries, not the beneficial owners.
Aziz served as prime minister from August 28, 2004, to November 15, 2007.
Aziz settled abroad after his tenure came to an end in 2007.
NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi
Moreover, former National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) chairperson Ayaz Khan Niazi has also been identified in the records in connection with four offshore holdings in the British Virgin Islands.
One of them was a trust, Andalusian Discretionary Trust, while the other three were set up as companies: Andalusian Establishment Limited, Andalusian Enterprises Limited and Andalusian Holdings Limited.
All the three companies were set up in 2010 when Niazi was the NICL chief.
In the record, however, Niazi’s two brothers, Hussain Khan Niazi and Muhammad Ali Khan Niazi, were shown as the beneficial owners, whereas Ayaz along with his father Abdul Razaq Khan and mother Fauzia Razzaq acted as directors.
The NICL scandal, which made headlines in Pakistan during Niazi's tenure, pertained to financial embezzlement by Niazi, then commerce minister (late) Makhdoom Amin Fahim and several bureaucrats in purchase of official land.
The case is yet to be decided.
Sadruddin Hashwani, Businessman
Sadruddin Hashwani, a leading business magnate in the hoteling and oil industry, owns one company in Barbodas and Cayman Islands each. They are: Bowenergy Resources (Pakistan) SRL and Ocean Pakistan Ltd.
Documents show the companies were used for securing hefty loans from Standard Chartered situated in yet another offshore jurisdiction, Mauritius, as well as its branch in London.
The above two companies are in addition to a couple of other offshore holdings discovered through Panama Papers: North Atlantic Services Limited and Rushlake Hotels (USA) Inc., registered in British Virgin Islands.
Responding to The News’ questions, Hashwani said he had answered in detail the last year (when the companies were identified in Panama Papers) and there is nothing to add in case of the two newly discovered companies. As for loans from Standard Chartered from its Mauritius branch is concerned, it was a business loan and the charge was registered in favour of the bank with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) hence nothing is hidden.
Mian Mansha, Businessman
Mian Muhammad Mansha, chairman of Nishat Group, has been linked with six offshore companies. Four of them are in British Virgin Islands: Mallen Securities Ltd, Maple Leaf Investments Ltd, Lyle Trading Ltd and Dolin International Limited. The remaining two are in Mauritius: Croft Limited and Best Eagles Holdings Inc. An account in a Swiss bank has also been found connected with these companies which dates back to 1994 and was in existence till 2007.
Responding to The News’ questions, Mansha said he had to move to the United States in the mid-1990s due to the adverse political situation in Pakistan. These bank accounts were meant to meet day-to-day living in that period. Finally, almost a decade ago, these accounts were liquidated and amounts repatriated to Pakistan through official channels and have been duly recorded in tax returns.
Alauddin J Feerasta
Alauddin J Feerasta, chairman of Soneri Bank, is the owner of Rangeworth Limited, a company registered in British Virgin Island, having an account in a Swiss bank. Nooruddin Feerasta, his nephew and chairman of Rupali Polyester Limited, also has a company set up in British Virgins Island with an account in Swiss Bank. Both of them did not answer questions sent by The News.
Disclaimer: It is pertinent to note here that not every offshore firm is necessarily illegal.
With input from Umar Cheema of The News.
Pakistani money in UAE
2018/ 44 ‘politically exposed persons’ own properties in UAE
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has furnished before the Supreme Court a list of 44 politically exposed individuals or their benamidars who possessed properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The list contains the name of Aleema Khanum, a sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan. She is identified as benamidar of a property. A notice has been issued to her through email as well as delivered at her home address, but her domestic staff says she is abroad.
The list was part of the annexure submitted to a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, seized with a case relating to illegal transfer of money from Pakistan to foreign countries.
The list also contains the name of Ayesha Enver Baig, wife of former senator Enver Baig and owner of Anwar Steel. She has one property in the UAE, but it has been disclosed in the tax returns filed with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
FIA list containing their names furnished before SC hearing a case pertaining to transfer of money from Pakistan
Irfanullah Khan Marwat, a politician, is also on the list, but has disowned the property shown in his name.
Likewise, Mumtaz Ahmed Muslim, who is affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, has conceded that he owns properties in Dubai, but not 16 properties as shown in the FIA list.
Rizwana Amin, wife of the late Makhdoom Amin Fahim of the Pakistan Peoples Party, owned four properties. A notice was issued to her, but her watchman did not receive it as she was out of the country.
Naureen Sami Khan, who owned three properties in the UAE, is wife of Arshad Sami Khan and is under verification by the FBR.
Sardar Dildar Ahmed Cheema, former MNA from Faisalabad, disowned two properties in the UAE.
Tahira Manzoor owned six properties in the UAE. She is daughter of Tariq Aziz, personal secretary to former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, and is also under verification by the FBR.
Sublina Zulfikar, who owned a property in the UAE, is wife of Collector Customs Dr Zulfikar Ahmed. Agha Shahid Majeed Khan, a government servant and serving as Collector Customs, also owned one property.
Zulfikar Baloch, who owned one property, is grandson of former federal minister Mir Ibrahim Reki. He had declared the property received as a gift from his grandfather in the tax returns.
Azra Nasreen, mother of TV anchor Dr Farrukh Saleem, owned a property in the UAE, but it has been declared in the tax returns.
Mohammad Aijaz Haroon, who had served as managing director of the Pakistan International Airlines during the PPP government, disowned a property shown in his name.
The name of Abdullah Kadwani also featured in the list with one property. He is former PRO to the Sindh governor and also an actor.
Akbar Khan had six properties in the UAE. He is brother of Humayun Akhtar and Haroon Akhtar — both former ministers. He did not provide any affidavit despite repeated notices.
Irshad Ahmed has one property in the UAE. He is employee of the Sindh Zarai Taraqqiati Bank and previously worked in the Sindh local government.