Wednesday Sep 21, 2016

150 Pakistanis linked to offshore companies in Bahamas

After the Panama Papers revelations took many countries by storm, another cache of leaked documents has named around 150 more Pakistanis linked with offshore companies in the Bahamas, a constellation of over 700 islands located 12,900 kilometers away from Pakistan.

For the second time, Geo News has unearthed a major financial scandal — the Bahamas Leaks.

Out of 175,000 companies incorporated in Bahamas between 1959 and 2016, around 150 Pakistanis have been identified as directors of nearly 70 companies. The Bahamas leaks is separate from the Panama Papers.

Among those named in the Bahamas documents include Gibran 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; Tehmina Durrani's mother Samina Durrani; political personalities, businessmen, people linked to the financial, pharmaceutical, construction sector, and other major industries.

Included among them is also Obaid Altaf Khanani, son of money-changer Altaf Khanani who is presently in custody of the US that slapped sanctions against his business on terror financing charges.

Professor Khurshid Ahmed, a former senator of the Jama'at-e-Islami, has been identified as a director of a bank registered in the Bahamas as offshore company that faced sanctions of UN and US after 9/11 along with its Eritrean-Italian owner Ahmed Idrees Nasreddin. Khurshid, though admitted having served as director, said he didn't have any financial stake in it and played only an advisory role. 

Names of several other personalities have surfaced in the Bahamas leaks.

The Bahamas is one of a handful of micro nations south of the United States, notes ICIJ, notorious for its confidentiality laws and reluctance to share information with foreign governments.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained the Bahamas data from a whistleblower and shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its media partners.