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More Pakistanis with secret offshore wealth to be exposed in ‘bombshell’ on May 9

KARACHI: As storm whipped up by Panama Papers was still to be died down, a new list of more than 400 Pakistanis having offshore wealth and properties will be released on May 9.

The list will have hundreds of thousands of names of world businessmen including many of Pakistan.

“The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) will release on May 9 a searchable database with information on more than 200,000 offshore entities that are part of the Panama Papers investigation,” ICIJ said in a statement.

Read more: PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz owns a firm in UK, reveal documents

The database will likely be the largest ever release of secret offshore companies and the people behind them.

The list will have details of offshore accounts and properties of Pakistanis in Switzerland, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Most of the Pakistanis mentioned in the list belong to Karachi, followed by Lahore.

According to media reports, majority of offshore wealth holders identified by their addresses in Pakistan are residents of posh area in both the cities.

Related read: Opposition parties unite to ‘truss up’ govt over Panama Papers

Since its release, the Panama Papers investigation has led to high profile resignations, including the prime minister of Iceland; triggered official inquiries in multiple countries; and put pressure on world leaders and other politicians, such as Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, to explain their connections to offshore companies. It sparked a new sense of urgency among lawmakers and regulators to close loopholes and make information about the owners of shell companies public.

The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.

Don’t miss: PM Nawaz Sharif can’t escape this time, says Imran

On April 5, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the formation of a commission to investigate allegations made in the Panama Papers that linked his family to a series of offshore companies.

Three of Sharif’s four children are named in the Panama Papers — daughter Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor, and sons Hasan and Hussain — with the records showing they owned London real estate through offshore companies administered by Mossack Fonseca.

When the Panama Papers were first released, Sharif’s son Hussain denied the allegations, saying his family had done “nothing wrong”.

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