The most trending news on media nowadays is Panama Leaks. This issue has created a massive global hype. Although people know the highlights, most of them still don’t know the details. This article will tell you all what this hype is all about?
Panama is a country in Central America. Panama Papers are 11.5 million financial and legal documents leaked from the database of the World’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. These records exposes corrupt and illegal system, hidden by nearly 2400 secretive offshore companies created for illegal purposes, mainly for tax evasion.
This is the world’s biggest data leaks which made public by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) regarding their investigation into offshore companies. Many renowned Pakistanis are included in tax evasion scandals and ownership of illegal offshore companies.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is linked to 9 of such companies connected to his family name. His relatives and brother, Shahbaz Sharif, are also involved. Benazir Bhutto was also linked to one such company and her relatives are said to be linked to others. Other famous names include Saba Obaid (mother of Sharmeen Obaid), Zulfiqar Abbas Bokhari (a close aide to Imran Khan).
These public figures had used to the firm to open accounts in known tax havens (countries where taxed are levied at a low rate to foreign individuals. Andorra, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts Nevis etc are all considered tax havens. However, these tax havens are under pressure from foreign governments who want to collect all tax revenue they believe they are entitled to, they have caused the tax heavens to sign Tax Information Exchange Agreements that provides foreign governments with formerly secret information about investors’ offshore accounts.)
Nations around the world lose billions of dollars of tax revenue in these tax revenue scandals. In a country like Pakistan, where there is already a dire need of investment, such tax revenue scandals are really destructive for the economy. NAB (National Accountability Bureau) is investigating the Pakistani Names included in Panama Leaks.