Tuesday October 19, 2021

$5m or above assets, holdings, cash in offshore cos: More than a dozen Pak families, individuals named

These leaked documents have revealed some super rich families/individuals of Pakistan, who have kept millions of dollars abroad in their offshore companies

October 06, 2021
Pandora Papers
Pandora Papers

ISLAMABAD: Although, there are 700 Pakistanis who own offshore companies with millions of dollars holdings yet more than a dozen rich families, individuals and business persons have assets, holdings, cash accounts, bonds, equities and mutual funds of five million or above dollars in their offshore companies.

The Pandora Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have revealed startling information about the wealth kept by some individuals or families under the complex web of offshore companies and trusts the world over. These leaked documents have revealed some super rich families/individuals of Pakistan, who have kept millions of dollars abroad in their offshore companies. Some of them claim they are non-resident taxpayers whereas some claim they have already declared with the authorities concerned in Pakistan.

Again it would also be prudent to mention that not all offshore companies are illegal or made for nefarious reasons. The leaked documents reveal that Lucky Rawji Holdings Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands, holds 100pc shares of a cement company based in Congo, which has an estimated value of $175 million (Rs29.75 billion October). Muhammad Ali Tabba and Sohail Ahmed Tabba are the shareholders and directors of the company along with some other partners.

Furthermore, the documents show that the family is the beneficiary of an offshore company Rossneath Investments Limited. The company’s estimated value of the assets is $132,925,406 ($132.92 million) (Rs22.59 billion) and the source of funds has been described as “inheritance of shareholdings from the family business, Lucky Cement Limited."

The Pandora Papers also reveal that the Tabba family owns another offshore company Calico Finance Limited and Mohammad Sohail Tabba is the beneficial owner of the company. Calico is an investment holding and owns $5.9 million (Rs1 billion) cash and marketable securities.

The Tabba family in their response told The News that LCL Investment Holding Limited (A wholly owned subsidiary of Lucky Cement Limited) holds 50pc shares in Lucky Rawji Holding Limited (LRHL), which was established after permission was granted by the State Bank via their letter No EPD/INT/C-531/12(454)-2014 dated January 31, 2014. Muhammad Ali Tabba and Muhammad Sohail Tabba are the directors of LRHL not the shareholders.

The family further added that Rossneath Investments is only a holding company and holds 22,803,029 shares of Lucky Cement Limited. The only source of income is dividends from the Lucky Cement Limited, which are taxed in Pakistan. The family further clarified that the Calico Finance Limited does not hold any marketable securities. Regarding declaration of these companies and the assets held by these companies, the Tabba family stated that they are declared under amnesty scheme “Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Act, 2018."

As per the leaked documents, Bashir Dawood and Mariyam Dawood are the beneficial owners of a BVI company S Minor Investment Limited. The investment portfolio of the company is held with the Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore, and includes cash accounts, bonds, equities and mutual funds. The estimated value of the assets is US$13.3 million (Rs2.26 billion).

The Pandora Papers show that a British Pakistani individual Mohammad Sharif owns an offshore company Maystone Holdings Limited in the BVI. The company owns Ranchville Equities Limited, which in turn owns property in London, United Kingdom. The estimated value of these assets is GBP 130 million (Rs30.16 billion).

The leaked documents further reveal that Amjed Ali Hussain, CEO of National Glass Industry, LLC, owns an offshore company Dynamic Corporation. The company holds shares in companies in GCC as well as investment in the US equity market. The estimated value of the assets is USis $20 million (Rs3.4 billion).

The documents show that Waseem Mukhtar owns a trust, the Loftus Trust. The purpose of the trust was for succession planning and to hold two existing BVI companies, Singapore property and bankable assets at CS. The value of trust assets is mentioned is US$55 million (Rs9.35 billion), the documents show. Waseem Mukhtar was sent a questionnaire. However, he could not receive the queries because he was visiting some place where there was a network problem.

The Pandora Papers reveal that Shark Steel Limited owns a portfolio of bankable assets and cash worth US$15 to $20 million (Rs3.4 billion). Ms Tehmina Zakaria Ahmed and Aisha Anwar are the beneficial owners of the company. It is not confirmed whether the company or the assets owned by the offshore holding is declared with the Pakistani tax authorities.

Moreover, the leaked documents show that Omer Farooq Kabir Sheikh is one of the beneficial owners of Pearl Overseas Holding Limited registered in the BVI jurisdiction. The company holds an investment portfolio with the Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore, that includes cash accounts, bonds, equities and mutual funds. The estimated value of these assets is US$5 million (Rs850 million).

The Pandora Papers show that Laila Hashwani, part owner of Excide Pakistan Limited, owns a company Seaward Resources Limited. The Seaward is an investment holding company and doing business in the UK. Further details reveal that the source of funding for this company came from inheritance from husband and profits. The estimated value of the assets is GBP16.7 million (Rs2.83 billion).

Similarly, Muhammad Kashif and other family members (ChenOne group) own an offshore company CGI Limited. The estimated value of the company as per the revealed document is AED 13.7 million (Rs630 million). The company deals in trading of different products like furniture, home furnishing, home accessories, leather products and garments.

The ChenOne group, in their response, told The News that the purpose of establishment of this company was to explore the business opportunities in the Gulf market and other global markets during the quota regime period. Currently, the company has no warehouse; the warehouse under question had been sold out against the adjustment of some bank loans.

Naveed Moghis Sheikh and Fozia Moghis Sheikh own an offshore company Blue Monk Investments Inc. The described purpose of the company is to operate a bank account in Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd in Geneva for parking the proceeds from sale of shares of Imperial Sugar Ltd to a large business group in the Middle East. The sale has resulted in $40-50 million, which were to be received at the company’s bank account. The News sent a questionnaire to Moghis Sheikh but received no response.

As per the leaked documents, Khalid Adamjee and his family own a trust, Catio Trust, based in Singapore. The trust’s source of wealth is described as “business in trading commodities specifically from supplying chrome ore and cobalt metal over 28-30 years of my business of supplying chrome ore to China/Japan and Cobalt Metal to Pakistan/Korea. I have been able to from time to time take positions on the market whilst trading in these commodities and register the profits in Singapore.” The leaked documents reveal that the total assets of the trust exceed more than 10 million Singapore dollars (Rs1.25 billion).

Responding to The News questions, Khalid Adamjee said it is true that he owned Catio Trust but it has been closed down. “I am based in Singapore, involved in international commodities trading – products include minerals, ores, metals and chemicals. We buy/source from a variety of different countries including Pakistan, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Norway, UK, Canada and China….and we sell to a variety of different countries including Pakistan, Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Thailand, China, Japan and South Korea. My family and I have been Permanent Residents of Singapore since 2009. In 2010, I emigrated to Singapore along with my wife and children and we live here. That is why I created a trust in Singapore,” he commented.

To a question about the declaration of the trust and assets held by the trust, he said he has declared all the assets in Catio Trust / Creek Resources Ltd to the tax authorities in Pakistan (FBR).

The leaked documents show a British Pakistani Peracha family owns a company Limon Holdings Limited. The company owns GBP 10 million (Rs2.32 billion) and it is involved in property development, regeneration of properties for sale and rentals.

Note: The value of these assets in Pak rupees has been determined by Tuesday’s exchange rate