Panama Leaks: List of Pakistani Politicians, Businessmen and Judges who own Offshore Companies
LAHORE: World is seemingly in awe when 2.6 terabyte of confidential leak was published by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) namely PANAMA LEAKS, as thousands of offshore companies established in cooperation of Mossack Fonseca (MF) were aimed at tax evasions and controversial funds transfers.
When it comes to the Pakistani owners of these questionable firms, people from every segment of life appear to be involved. The so far published documents suggest that over 200 Pakistanis were directly involved in these shady businesses, and more names will continue to pour in as thousands of documents are yet to be made public.
Interestingly, although the papers feature businesses from 1977 to 2015, the Pakistani names start appearing in years after 1990.
What are Panama Leaks?
The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ then shared them with a large network of international partners, including the Guardian and the BBC.
What do they reveal?
The documents show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. Twelve national leaders are among 143 politicians, their families and close associates from around the world known to have been using offshore tax havens.
Among national leaders with offshore wealth are Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Ayad Allawi, ex-interim prime minister and former vice-president of Iraq; Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine; Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president; and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.
What is Mossack Fonseca?
It is a Panama-based law firm whose services include incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands. It administers offshore firms for a yearly fee. Other services include wealth management.
Where is it based?
The firm is Panamanian but runs a worldwide operation. Its website boasts of a global network with 600 people working in 42 countries. It has franchises around the world, where separately owned affiliates sign up new customers and have exclusive rights to use its brand. Mossack Fonseca operates in tax havens including Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in the British crown dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
Which Pakistani owns most offshore companies?
Media mainly focused on the companies owned by Sharif family, but surprisingly they are the ones to own most offshore companies from Panama Papers. Its the Saifullah family of Lakki Marwat city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The family owns at least 34 offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Seychelles, Hong Kong, Singapore and Ireland.
These companies are named after Senator Osman Saifullah, Salim Saifullah, Anwar Saifullah, Humayun Saifullah, Javed Saifullah, Dr Iqbal Saifullah and Jehangir Saifullah.
Politicians and their relatives:
In Pakistan, the debate related to offshore companies from Panama Papers is largely confined to political figures only, as country’s most powerful political families and their relatives were listed among the owners of these companies.
According to Panama Papers, offshore companies are pwned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz and daughter Mariam Safdar alias Maryam Nawaz Sharif; and assassinated Chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto, her close aide Senator Rehman Malik and her nephew Hassan Bhutto. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s relatives Ilyas Mehraj and Samina Durrani were also featured in the list. However, interestingly, no company was found to registered in names of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif themselves.
Other political names include Pakistan Muslim League- Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s close relative Waseem Gulzar and Zain Sukhera -a close friend of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son. Sukhera was also co-accused with Gilani’s son in Hajj Corruption Scandal.
Most of Pakistani names featured in Panama Papers are purely businessmen, and they include almost every renowned businessman of the country. We present you the long list in most easiest way to avoid confusion.
- Sadruddin Hashwani and son Murtaza Hashwani of Hashoo Group
- Malik Riaz Hussain’s son Ahmed Ali Riaz of Behria Town
- Hussain Dawood of Engro Corporation Limited
- Abdullah family (Yousuf Abdullah, Shahid Abdullah, Nadeem Abdullah, Amer Abdullah) of Sapphire Textiles
- Gul Muhammad Tabba of Lucky Textiles
- Shahid Nazir of Masood Textiles
- Shehbaz Yasin Malik and family of Hilton Pharma
- Sultan Ali Allana of Habib Bank Limited
- Shahid Nazir and family of Masood Textile Mills
- Bashir Ahmed and Javed Shakoor of Buxly Paints
- Dr. Mehmood Ahmed of Berger Paints
- Azam Sultan of ABM Group of Companies
- Aqueel Hassan and his brother Tanwir Hassan of Pizza Hut (Pakistan)
- Zulfiqar Paracha of Universal Corporation (Pvt) Ltd
- Abdul Rashid Soorty and family of Soorty Enterprise
Several owners of Pakistan based media groups were also found owning offshore companies. Among them Zulfiqar Lakhani -who owns Lakson Group and Express media group- was on top. Gohar Ejaz, who maintains an image of property tycoon and is financier of Channel 24 as well, was also in the list. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman of Jang and Geo Group also established an offshore company in early 2000s.
Several lawyers and top judges also own offshore firm, according to Panama Papers. Justice Farrukh Irfan’s -currently serving in Lahore High Court (LHC)- name was also on the list while Justice (retd.) Malik Qayyum is also among owners of an offshore company.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.