SC seeks details of Pakistanis owning assets, accounts abroad

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday questioned top officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Attorney General of Pakistan, asking them to provide details of those Pakistani nationals who owned property and accounts abroad but did not declare them according to Pakistani laws.

The bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had asked the FIA for names of individuals to summon in court for illegally owning property abroad without declaring it according to Pakistani laws.

But upon not getting a clear answer from officials, the court ordered FIA to submit 10 names each from the lists of those nationals who had availed the Pakistani government’s tax amnesty scheme, owned property abroad but had not declared it, owned foreign property but did not pay tax on it, or claimed they did not own any foreign property.

The court ordered FIA to submit these names by the next hearing of the case on November 1, 2018.

During today’s hearing into the case, the FIA submitted its initial report on foreign properties owned by Pakistanis. The report states that 35 political personalities and their associates owned properties in Dubai.

“The FIA initiated investigations against 3,570 Pakistanis who own properties worth Rs1,015 billion in Dubai,” the report added.

It was further stated in the report that nine benamidaars have been identified as well as 150 “extremely rich individuals who own properties worth Rs30 billion”.

“Investigation was halted against 386 persons who benefitted from the amnesty scheme. Those who owned 374 properties in Dubai benefitted from Tax Amnesty Scheme 2018,” it added.

Further, the report stated that 150 people admitted that they did not declare their foreign properties in their tax returns.

“674 people recorded their statements before FIA team and 900 Pakistanis illegally own properties in Dubai,” the report said.

The report added, “44 people who benefitted from the tax amnesty scheme face NAB cases.”

It continued, “200 people disclosed their properties while recording their statements but did not benefit from the tax amnesty scheme.”

“2,500 people wanted amnesty in June last year but FBR did not agree to the terms. The authorities also recommended to the government to launch another amnesty scheme,” the report upheld.

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