Pakistan News

FBR issues notices to alleged owners of offshore enterprises

FBR issues notices to alleged owners of offshore enterprises

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Saturday issued notices to persons, who have been alleged of possessing offshore enterprises by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), said a statement issued by FBR.

The Directorate General Of Intelligence and Investigation have issued the notices to obtain official versions of the people under media scrutiny.

"The exercise will help to verify the authenticity of the reports that have been surfacing in the media for the past five months," read the FBR statement.

The Panama Papers jolted Pakistan's political sphere in April when a massive leak of secret files from a Panamanian law firm, that specialises in offshore tax havens, revealed the often-murky financial wheelings and dealings of some of the world’s most powerful political players, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the king of Saudi Arabia, Iceland’s prime minister and the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, among dozens of others.

In a data dump that is described as being larger than leaked US diplomatic cables, around 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from the internal database of Mossack Fonseca has been made public.

The data from the Panama Papers, available on the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — one of around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that worked on mining the data simultaneously — also reveals the offshore holdings of members of Prime Minister Sharif’s family.

According to documents available on the ICIJ website,Nawaz Sharif's children Mariam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.

Mariam Nawaz is described as “the owner of British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994 and 1993”.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former interior minister Rehman Malik shrugged off the charges against him that came up in the Panama Papers scandal.

While reacting on the notice sent to him by FBR on Saturday, Malik maintained his innocence and said he will sue the revenue board.

“The company which is being associated with me is actually owned by Gold Star Equity Limited,” said the former interior minister.

“I have instructed my lawyers to send a legal notice worth Rs5 billion to the FBR,” he added.

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