Bahamas leaks expose more Pakistanis own offshore companies
NEW YORK (92 News) – As the country is still grappling from the aftereffects of Panama leaks months after it disclosed the names of country’s some influential personalities, now the Bahamas leaks have emerged exposing the names of around 150 Pakistanis who own companies in the Bahamas. A cache of 1.3 million files concerning more than 175,000 companies registered in the Bahamas has been released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - the same group which revealed the Panama Papers. Documents were first leaked to German newspaper and subsequently shared with the ICIJ, much like the Panama Papers cache released earlier this year. Around 150 Pakistanis have been named in the leaked papers. Obaid Altaf Khanani owns an offshore company whose father Altaf Khanani is jailed in the United States over money laundering allegations. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Professor Khurshid Ahmed has been named as a director of a bank in the new leaks. The Bahamas leaks has also exposed the companies of renowned builder Mohsin Sheikhani and Tehmina Durrani’s mother Samina Durrani. Former federal minister Mohammad Naseer Khan’s son Jibran Khan has also been named in the ‘Bahamas leaks’. The Bahamas has long been on the radar of tax officials and governments around the world. In June 2015, the European Union placed it, along with 30 other countries, on a list of un-cooperative tax havens. And although Bahamian law requires the names of directors to be filed with the national registrar, those names are not always available online – and directors' names cannot be searched individually or without pre-existing knowledge of the Bahamian company's name. Thus, it is incredibly difficult to check whether a public official or corporate executive is linked to companies chartered in the Bahamas.