Only 7 Pakistani politicians in Pandora Papers, says ICIJ thumbnail

Only 7 Pakistani politicians in Pandora Papers, says ICIJ

If someone thought that Pandora Papers did not cover the past three years of Imran Khan government they were proved wrong when the details of the leaked documents emerged.

The documents released as Pandora Paper were created between
1996 and 2020, ICIJ says. So, it covers at least two years of Imran Khan
government.

There are fewer politicians than other people from Pakistan
included in the papers. The documents name 700 Pakistanis but only 7 of them
are politicians, according to an ICI choropleth map that show where the 336 politicians
named in Pandora Papers come from.

The largest number of politicians is from Ukrain, where 38
statesmen were named. Russian has 19 politicians named in the Pandora Papers
and India only 6.

However, it must be noted that the number does not include
families or relatives of politicians involved in setting up offshore companies.

Where the data came from

The data comes from 14 entities, according to ICIJ. These companies provided services to their wealthy clients, politicians, businessmen, and retired military officials, to incorporate offshore companies in low- or no-tax jurisdictions.

“The entities enable owners to conceal their identities
from the public and sometimes from regulators. Often, the providers help them
open bank accounts in countries with light financial regulation,” ICIJ
said.

The offshore service providers are based in British Virgin
Islands, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Belize, Panama, South Dakota and other secrecy
jurisdictions, according to ICIJ. Umar Cheema, the Pakistani member of the ICIJ,
says most of the offshore companies were registered in British Virgin Islands.

A summary of the data shows Trident Trust Company Limited
was the largest offshore service provide in British Virgin Islands. The second
biggest company to yield documents was Alcogal in Panama.

Why offshore companies were created

The biggest advantage that owners of offshore companies
enjoy is that they can mask their identities. However, the companies also help
them live a luxurious life.

They use such entities to “purchase real estate,
yachts, jets and life insurance” and “to make investments and to move
money between bank accounts,” ICIJ said.

The offshore companies also help in “estate planning
and other inheritance issues; and the avoidance of taxes through complex
financial schemes.”

Documents linked to financial crimes

ICIJ says some of the documents revealed through Pandora
Papers are tied to financial crimes, including money laundering.

The 11.9 million documents name “more than 330
politicians and 130 Forbes billionaires, as well as celebrities, fraudsters,
drug dealers, royal family members and leaders of religious groups around the
world.”

It is a trove of 2.94 terabyte data. The documents include
passports, bank statements, tax declarations, company incorporation records,
and real estate contracts.

“The Pandora Papers investigation also reveals how
banks and law firms work closely with offshore service providers to design
complex corporate structures.”

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