On April 3, 2016, a group of global news organisations published information that was leaked to them by an unnamed source. The information exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people use offshore bank accounts to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes – including the Pakistani elite.

This leak is being referred to as the Panama Papers.

The leaked data amounts to 2.6-terabyte collected over a 40-year period. The organization that is leading the publication of said documents is International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Many heads of state and government officials are being implicated in the Panama Papers leak.

It is not shocking that there are many Pakistani elites on this list, including the current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Note: keeping your money offshore is not ILLEGAL. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons such as persecution. That said, in 99% of the cases, the people involved with offshore tax havens do so to hide their wealth and avoid taxes.

Names of Pakistanis Implicated in Panama Papers Leak

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is linked to 9 companies connected to his family name. Those involved are:

  • Hassan Nawaz
  • Hussain Nawaz
  • Maryam Nawaz

Relatives of Punjab Chief Minister and brother of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif are linked to 7 companies. They are:

  • Samina Durrani
  • Ilyas Mehraj

Now deceased former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was linked to one company. However relatives and associates are linked to others:

  • Nephew Hassan Ali Jaffery
  • Javed Pasha, Close friend of Asif Ali Zardari (4 companies)
  • PPP Senator Rehman Malik (1 company)
  • PPP Senator Osman Saifullah’s family (34 companies)
  • Anwar Saifullah
  • Salim Saifullah
  • Humayun Saifullah
  • Iqbal Saifullah
  • Javed Saifullah
  • Jehangir Saifullah

The Chaudharies of Gujrat have not been linked personally but other relatives have including:

  • Waseem Gulzar
  • Zain Sukhera (co-accused with former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son in the Hajj scandal)

Other People associated with the Government and Politicians:

  • Zulfikar Bukhari, son of ex-interim minister Wajid Bukhari and a financier of PTI (6 companies)
  • Irfan Iqbal Puri, an oil czar, former minister and close friend of Asif Zardari and Altaf Hussain (3 companies)
  • Naseer Khan, ex-health minister under PMLQ government (1 company)
  • Tariq Islam, a cousin of former PM Benazir Bhutto (1 company)
  • Abdul Sattar Dero and family, former MD of Port Qasim Authority and a close friend of Asif Zardari who benefitted from the NRO in 2007 (2 companies)
  • Shaukat Ahmed and relatives, ex-president Karachi Chamber of Commerce ( 1 company)
  • Azfar Hassan, son of retired Admiral Muzaffar Hassan (1 company)

Pakistani businessmen (and women) on the list include:

  • Real Estate Czar Malik Riaz Hussain’s son (Bahria Town)
  • Ahmad Ali Riaz (1 company)
  • Chairman ABM Group of Companies Azam Sultan (5 companies)
  • Pizza Hut owner Aqeel Hussain and family (1 company)
  • Brother Tanwir Hassan
  • Chairman Soorty Enterprise Abdul Rashid Soorty and family
  • Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman of Habib Bank Limited (1 company)
  • Khawaja Iqbal Hassan, former NIB bank President (1 company)
  • Bashir Ahmed and Javed Shakoor of Buxly Paints (1 company)
  • Mehmood Ahmed of Berger Paints (1 company)
  • Hotel tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani and family (3 companies)
  • Murtaza Haswani
  • Owner of Hilton Pharma, Shehbaz Yasin Malik and family (1 company)
  • The Hussain Dawood family (2 companies)
  • Shahzada Dawood
  • Abdul Samad Dawood
  • Partner Saad Raja
  • The Abdullah family of Sapphire Textiles (5 companies)
  • Yousuf Abdullah and his wife
  • Muhammad Abdullah and his wife
  • Shahid Abdullah and his family
  • Nadeem Abdullah and family
  • Amer Abdullah and family
  • Gul Muhammad Tabba of Lucky Textiles
  • Shahid Nazir, CEO of Masood Textile Mills (1 company)
  • Partner Naziya Nazir
  • Zulfiqar Ali Lakhani, from Lakson Group and owner of Colgate-Palmolive, Tetley Clover and Clover Pakistan (1 company)
  • Zulfiqar Paracha and family of Universal Corporation (1 company)
  • Wamiq Zuberi who owns the Business Recorder newspaper in Pakistan (1 company)
  • Sajid Mahmood, son of Seth Abid Ali who owns 30 companies in Pakistan (1 company)
  • Izzat Majeed, the owner of Sachal Studios Orchestra and a billionaire (1 company)
  • Mehreen Akbar, wife of Ghous Akbar, and her two sisters (4 companies)
  • Munir Monnoo and son, a Karachi-based businessman who established a company to open a Swiss account (1 company)
  • Valliani Family, renowned fashion and jewellery designers in Pakistan (5 companies)

Pakistani Judges in Panama Leaks:

  • Serving Lahore High Court Judge Justice Farrukh Irfan
  • Retired Judge Malik Qayyum

Pakistani Media personnel in Panama Leaks:

  • Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman of GEO and Jang Group (1 company)
  • Saba Obaid-Chinoy, mother of Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (3 companies)

If you still don’t understand what the Panama Papers leak is about, Vox has a great explainer video: