JNN 23 Sept 2016 Karachi – While the Panama Papers leaks, which exposed over 400 Pakistanis linked to offshore companies registered in tax havens some six months ago, still remain to be investigated, the latest publication by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has named another 150 Pakistanis who own shady firms in Bahamas.
The latest data leak carries 1.3 million files which provide names of directors and some owners of more than 175,000 Bahamian companies registered between 1990 and early 2016. Among them, around 150 Pakistanis were also identified as directors of nearly 70 companies.
Obaid Altaf Khanani, the son of Pakistan’s notorious money changer Altaf Khanani who is currently in the custody of US authorities on terror financing and money laundering charges, is on the top of the list.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s leader Professor Khurshid Ahmed is one of the prominent names in the leaks. However, while responding to the questions forwarded by an ICIJ partner journalist, he said he was not financially involved, but only served as an employee.
The Bahamas-based company linked to Professor Khurshid Ahmed was banned by the United Nations and the United States, after 9/11 attacks for suspicious dealing.
Popular Afghan businessman Ahmed Ratab Popel, who is also being investigated for narcotics smuggling and corruption, also used a Pakistani address to register a company in Bahamas. Popel is the cousin of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is also considered a close aide of Mullah Abdul Zaeef –Taliban regime’s former ambassador to Pakistan.
Lahore High Court judge Mohammed Farrukh Irfan’s again surfaced as a director of a Bahamas-based firm, after his name was mentioned in the Panama Papers leak. Irfan transferred his offshore company to his daughter, one year after he was sworn as LHC judge.
Samina Durrani, the mother-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, also registered offshore firm in Bahamas, however, the ownership of the company has been kept anonymous due to certain unknown reasons.
Former Health Minister Naseer Khan’s son named Gibran also owns a Bahamian entity. His name was also mentioned in the Panama Papers.
Just like Panama Papers leaks, most of the Pakistanis owning shady companies in Bahamas are also businessmen. Their businesses range from financial services to steel mills, textile industry to insurance corporations, chemicals to security services, and construction to asset management.
Some prominent names included Raza, Hasnain, Rafique, Hyder, Imran, Aun and Sajjad of a single business family which has six offshore companies on Bahamas Leaks.
The owner of Captain PQ Chemical Industries and director of Standard Chartered Bank, Spenta Kandawalla, is also a director of the Bahamian firm.
According to media reports, among those named in the Bahamasdocuments include Jibran Khan, the son of Mohammad Naseer Khan, a former health minister of Pervez Musharraf government; former Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed; Mohsin Abu Bakar Sheikhani, a tycoon of the construction industry; and Tehmina Durrani’s mother Samina Durrani.
Obaid Altaf Khanani, son of money-changer Altaf Khanani also reportedly owns offshore companies in Bahamas.
The Bahamas is a constellation of 700 islands, many smaller than a square mile. It is one of a handful of micro nations south of the United States whose confidentiality laws and reluctance to share information with foreign governments gave rise to the term “Caribbean curtain.”
Most of these companies were registered between 1990 and 2011, according to the latest documents leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Over 150 Pakistanis have been named in what is called the Bahamas leaks, owning offshore companies.
In total, the new cache provides names of politicians and others linked to more than 175,000 Bahamian companies that were registered between 1990 and 2016. Since the majority of companies had been registered in 1990s, the Federal Board of Revenue would not be in a position to take any action against them, even if they evaded taxes.
According to income tax laws, the FBR can open cases of tax evasion by a filer for a period of up to five years while in case of a non-filer, the maximum threshold is 10 years.
In April, the ICIJ had leaked documents of Panama law firm, Mosack Fonseca, of companies registered in tax havens. The cache named over 600 Pakistanis. Of them, the FBR had identified 444 persons so far. Among them, 150 persons owned over 600 companies in Pakistan, tax authorities have yet to take any meaningful action against them.
The state institutions that were supposed to initiate an investigation into the Panamagate scandal refused to shoulder the responsibility during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.
According to the information available on the ICIJ website, the Exxon Mobil Pakistan LNG was incorporated in June 2011 in Bahamas through Harry B Sands, Lobosky.
The Gem Pakistan Power Partners Limited Company was incorporated on April 27, 1994 in British Virgin Islands and is linked to Guernsey. The Pakistan Powerpack (UK) Limited was incorporated in British Virgin Islands on August 8, 1994. The Hunt International Petroleum Company Pakistan Limited was incorporated in Bahamas on March 15, 1990.
In mid 1990s, the PPP government had implemented a new power policy, allowing independent power producers to establish businesses.
The Heritage Oil Pakistan Sanjawi Limited was incorporated on November 22, 2007, in British Virgin Islands. This company is still active. The Sanjawi group has huge stakes in Pakistan’s oil and gas sector.
The Mtranzact Pakistan Limited was incorporated on November 22, 2007. Its jurisdiction remains undetermined. Its status is dead now.
The Esso Exploration and Production Pakistan Limited was incorporated in May 1992 and was struck off in 1997. It was connected through one intermediary and registered in Bahamas.
The Pakistan Japan Petrochemical Limited was incorporated in 1991 through one intermediary. However, it was struck off in August 2002. The company was registered in Bahamas.
The KERR-MCGEE Pakistan Limited was incorporated in July 1991 through one intermediary. This company was also struck off in January 1996. The VeeTee Pakistan Holdings Corporation was incorporated in April 1993 through one intermediary. This company was also struck off in February 2015. This company was also registered in Bahamas.
The Union Texas Pakistan Power Limited was incorporated in Bahamas in June 1996 through one intermediary. The Pakistan Mest and Dairy Processing Limited 529 was incorporated in Bahamas in October 1996, but was struck off in January 2000. The Tel Tran International Pakistan Limited was incorporated in Bahamas in July 1999 but was struck off in April 2003.
The Islamabad International Limited Company was registered in Bahamas in June 2013 through the Royal Bank of Canada Trust Company (BAH). The Karachi Holdings Limited was incorporated in September 1994 through Santander Bank and trust (Bahamas) Ltd
Mohsin, Arshad, Amjad, Abid and Ahmed, Salim, Hamida, Enam, Shaukat, Shafqat, Sultan, Irshad, Yasmeen, Farhana, Danus and Naushad are other notable names of the businessmen.
The Bahamas Leaks also carried several international names as well, i.e. former EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, former Columbian minister for mines and energy Carlos Cabellero, the son of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and his father Francisco and brother Mariano, and UK foreign secretary Amber Rudd.
List of Pakistani Persons who are Involved in Bahamian Companies :
|2/19/2016||2008||Arif Noor Mohammad||Karachi|
|2/29/2016||2000||Sheikh Arshad Javed||Karachi|
|4/11/2016||1997||Prof. Khurshid Ahmed||Islamabad|
|4/19/2016||2006||Mohsin Abu Baker||Karachi|
|5/30/2016||2006||Syed Muhammad Ali||Karachi|
|7/27/2016||1990||S. M. Hayder||Karachi|
|8/21/2016||2003||Dr. Tariq Mehmoood|
|9/20/2016||2007||Sheikh Nadeem Zafar||Lahore|