Govt to investigate all citizens mentioned in Pandora Papers: PM Leaks to further strengthen Imran’s stance: Fawad

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Staff Reporter
Islamabad

Shortly after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday unveiled “Pandora Papers” — a major international research into the financial secrets held by high-profile individuals around the world — Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government would investigate all citizens mentioned in the report.

“We welcome the Pandora Papers exposing the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion & corruption & laundered out to financial ‘havens’,” PM Imran tweeted. “The UN SG’s Panel FACTI [International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity] calculated a staggering $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in largely offshore tax havens.”

“My government will investigate all our citizens mentioned in the Pandora Papers and if any wrongdoing is established we will take appropriate action. I call on the international community to treat this grave injustice as similar to the climate change crisis.”

Earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday that details revealed in the Pandora Papers, the major international research on the financial secrets held by high-profile individuals will “further strengthen” Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance.

“Panama Papers revealed offshore assets of very corrupt people. Now another research of ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) is coming.

PM Imran stressed upon rich countries that hiding of poor countries’ money in rich countries should be discouraged,” he said in a tweet.

When details of money being moved from poor countries to rich countries are shared through Pandora Papers, like the Panama Papers previously, it would “further strengthen” PM Imran’s stance, he added.

“We expect that this research, like Panama [Papers], will open new avenues of transparency and become another reason to discourage corruption,” Chaudhry said.

According to the ICIJ, the Pandora Papers is the consortium’s most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet, even larger than its predecessor, the Panama Papers, which had set off alarm bells across the world.

More than 600 reporters from around the world, belonging to 150 media organisations spanning 117 countries, participated in the research for two years for the Pandora Papers, which contain 11.9 million files.

Panama fears the publication of the new exposé about financial secrecy in global tax havens could again taint its reputation, which was seriously damaged by the Panama Papers scandal, according to a government letter released by media.

“The damage could be insurmountable,” the Panamanian government said in the letter, sent through a law firm to the ICIJ.

The letter warns 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.

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