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SC orders FIA to present 20 individuals having offshore assets

The Supreme Court has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to present 20 individuals having properties outside Pakistan.
During the hearing of a case regarding the assets owned by Pakistanis outside the country on Thursday, FIA submitted its initial report and its Director General Bashir Memon informed the court that 150 people have admitted that they own foreign properties.
DG FIA told the bench that 374 people have said that they have declared their foreign properties.
‘150 people recorded their statements before FIA’s investigation officer. Out of them, 69 said they mentioned the properties in their tax returns while 82 said the properties did not belong to them,’ he added.
The chief justice then asked Memon as to when his department will conduct investigations, saying that the authority should present 20 individuals on the next hearing.
We want information about assets in London, Dubai and other countries, Justice Nisar remarked.
On the occasion, the attorney general informed the bench that there are 894 people who own foreign properties.
Addressing the attorney general, the chief justice wondered what was the government waiting for as the people had been identified.
However, the attorney general informed the bench that they cannot be arrested as per the law.
Justice Nisar also asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa as what can be done regarding this matter.
‘We can wrap up the case and then the government can look into it,’ he remarked.
The SBP governor added that 150 people have admitted that they own foreign properties but have not declared them.
‘We can summon 10 people from these 150,’ the chief justice remarked and adjourned the hearing till November 1.

What FIA Report States?

FIA submitted its initial report on foreign properties stating that 35 politicians and their associates own properties in Dubai.
‘The FIA initiated investigations against 3,570 Pakistanis who own properties worth Rs1,015 billion in Dubai,’ the report added.
It was further stated in the report that nine benamidaars have been identified as well as 150 extremely rich individuals who own properties worth Rs30 billion.
‘Investigation was suspended against 386 persons who benefitted from the amnesty scheme. Those who owned 374 properties in Dubai benefitted from Tax Amnesty Scheme 2018,’ it added.
‘900 Pakistanis illegally own properties in Dubai,’ the report highlighted.

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