Panama Papers: Document leak taints PM Nawaz Sharif’s children, global elite
LONDON (92 New) –A massive leak of documents exposes the offshore holdings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies.
The leak also provides details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world, including Malaysian Prime Minister, Azerbaijan President and Saudi Arabian King Shah Salman Abdul Aziz.
The cache of 11.5 million records shows how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to politicians, fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.
These are among the findings of a yearlong investigation by more than 100 other news organizations.
The files expose offshore companies controlled by the prime ministers of Pakistan and Iceland, the king of Saudi Arabia and the children of the president of Azerbaijan.
According to the report, the family of Nawaz Sharif bought six properties near London’s Hyde Park, while Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Mariam Nawaz build four new offshore companies in 90s.
The Sharif family has been at various times accused of corruption, ownership of illegal assets, tax avoidance and money laundering. Mariam, Hussain and their father have been detained on such charges, exiled to Saudi Arabia and also acquitted.
Hasan, who moved to London over 16 years ago, and Hussain have been running family businesses from abroad. Mariam reportedly is being groomed to take over leadership of her father’s political party.
The children of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also owned London real estate through companies created by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm’s records show. Until recently, Mossack Fonseca has largely operated in the shadows. But it has come under growing scrutiny as governments have obtained partial leaks of the firm’s files and authorities in Germany and Brazil began probing its practices.
Mariam Safdar was the owner of British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994 and 1993.
The world’s best soccer player, Lionel Messi, is also found in the documents. The records show Messi and his father were owners of a Panama company: Mega Star Enterprises Inc. This adds a new name to the list of shell companies known to be linked to Messi. His offshore dealings are currently the target of a tax evasion case in Spain.
Mossack Fonseca’s fingers are in Africa’s diamond trade, the international art market and other businesses that thrive on secrecy. The firm has serviced enough Middle East royalty to fill a palace. It’s helped two kings, Mohammed VI of Morocco and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, take to the sea on luxury yachts.