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Pakistan

'Pandora Papers' could further validate PM Imran's stance on money-laundering: Fawad

  • Information minister says if exposé details how money is laundered from poor to rich countries, then it will further reinforce what PM Imran has been saying
  • Statement comes after ICIJ's announcement that it will release exposé on Sunday
Updated 03 Oct, 2021

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that details of financial secrets of the global elite through 'Pandora Papers' -- expected to be released today (Sunday) -- will "further strengthen Prime Minister Imran Khan's stance against money laundering".

In a tweet on Sunday, Fawad said: "If the 'Pandora Papers', like the 'Panama Papers', details how the money is laundered from poor countries to abroad then this will further reinforce Prime Minister Imran Khan's stance against money laundering."

He added that the 'Panama Papers' revealed offshore assets of corrupt people. "Now another research of ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) is coming. PM Imran stressed that hiding poor countries' money in rich countries should be discouraged," he said.

The information minister hoped that, like the 'Panama Papers', the upcoming leaks will also open new ways to ensure transparency in financial practices and will help in the fight against corrupt practices.

'Pandora Papers'

On October 2, the ICIJ announced that it is going to release the most expansive exposé of financial secrecy after the release of the 'Panama Papers' in 2016, which led to the downfall of governments, including that of Nawaz Sharif.

The 'Pandora Papers', which will come out at 9 30pm Pakistan time, will look to expose offshore finances and secrets of several people, including businessmen, politicians, leaders, public officials, etc from around the world. It also includes the names of several influential people from Pakistan.

It took the ICIJ almost two years to organise the investigation that involved more than 600 journalists in 117 countries, making it the biggest-ever journalism partnership. The ICIJ shared the data with 150 media organisations.

The mega research into the financial world’s hidden secrets is expected to explain what some of the rich in the world did to hide their wealth and evade taxes from the states.

The 'Panama Papers' was a giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposing a system that enables crime, corruption, and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies.

Panama fears could be hit by new ICIJ 'Pandora Papers' leak

The new research will expose how the global elite transfers money to tax havens by secret companies.

Panamanian govt fears damage to its reputation

Meanwhile, Panama fears the publication of a new exposé could again taint its reputation, which was seriously damaged by the 'Panama Papers' scandal, according to a government letter released by local media.

The government has warned that any publication reinforcing a false perception of the country as a possible tax haven will have devastating consequences for Panama and its people.

The letter from the Panamanian government also references some of the reforms that the Central American country has made in recent years, although it remains on the EU list of tax havens.

It also indicates that since 2016 the registration of more than 395,000 companies and foundations has been suspended, around half of those existing at that time.

The government fears that Panama will again be the epicenter of a new global tax havens scandal like the one that followed the ICIJ's disclosure of the 'Panama Papers' in 2016.

That massive data leak exposed widespread tax avoidance and evasion using complex structures of offshore shell companies and caused an international outcry.

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