Join hands against money-laundering

A huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use safe havens to hide their wealth. Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax.
Some of the main allegations centre on the creation of shell companies, that have the outward appearance of being legitimate businesses, but are just empty shells. They do nothing but manage money, while hiding who owns it. Though it is not necessary that the names and businesses mentioned in the leaked documents are all involved in illegal activities but there are wide suspicions of wrong-doing and attempts aimed at whitening the black money. There are also allegations that many prominent names from Pakistan are also involved and those named are now trying to explain their sides. Unfortunately, there has been propaganda campaign against the ruling Sharif family but Panama Leaks have confirmed that the Prime Minister was, in no way, involved in any suspected business activity or assets abroad. His children have been mentioned in leaked documents but statements of the family spokesman as well as those of Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid have made it absolutely clear that there is nothing illegal in the businesses owned by two sons of the Prime Minister. We believe that doing legitimate business is right of every individual and there should be no political point scoring on this account. And it is also strange to note that only children of the Prime Minister are being discussed by some vested interests ignoring other names referred to in the leaked documents. Anyhow, Panama Leaks have once again emphasized the need to increase global cooperation against money-laundering. There have been efforts towards that end in recent years but the focus had been on illegal financial transactions relating to terrorism. Panama Leaks show influential people and elite looted money and invested it abroad and there is justification to take measures to retrieve this looted and laundered money. At the same time, the world should also exert pressure on Switzerland, which is known safe haven for ill-gotten money, to bring transparency to financial transactions carried out by its secretive banks.

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