ISLAMABAD - The Panama has blown the lid off the faces behind offshore companies operating in secrecy, revealing names throughout the world, including more than 200 Pakistanis - including politicians, businessmen, bankers as well as judges.

More than 100 media organisations from 76 countries partnered with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to review 11.5 million secret files that a whistleblower leaked to a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung.

About the project, named the Panama Papers, the ICIJ said there are also legal means to send money abroad, and we do not suggest that all that is revealed was done unlawfully or by illegal means.

The Pakistani names found in the secret files include not only those from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s relatives but also of ex-PM Benazir Bhutto, Senator Rehman Malik, Javed Pasha (a close friend of Asif Zardari), Senator Osman Saifullah’s family, Waseem Gulzar (a relative of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat) and Zain Sukhera (who was co-accused with former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son in the Haj scandal).

The list also included hotel tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani, real estate czar Malik Riaz Hussain’s son, the Hussain Dawood family, the Abdullah family of Sapphire Textiles, Gul Muhammad Tabba of Lucky Textiles, Shahid Nazir of Masood Textiles, Zulfiqar Ali Lakhani and Zulfiqar Paracha.

Members from the bar and the bench are also on the list, including a serving judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Farrukh Irfan, and a retired judge, Malik Qayyum.

According to the leaked documents, owner of Hilton Pharma, Shehbaz Yasin Malik opened the company for a Swiss bank account. ABM Group of Companies Chairman Azam Sultan, Pizza Hut owner Aqeel Hussain and Soorty Enterprise Chairman Abdul Rashid Soorty were also identified along with the family members in documents.

Associates of Dawood Ibrahim, Junaid Iqbal Memon, Nadiya Javed Malik and Hajra Iqbal Memon also own companies.

The data under examination covers nearly 40 years from 1977 through the end of 2015. Pakistanis started figuring in the record from 1990 onward. Over 200 Pakistanis have been identified so far and the counting is still in progress.

While a majority of Pakistanis figuring in the documents are businessmen, the politico-business Saifullah family of Lakki Marwat stays on top with a record number of 34 offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Seychelles owned by Senator Osman Saifullah, Anwar Saifullah, Salim Saifullah, Humayun Saifullah, Dr Iqbal Saifullah, Javed Saifullah and Jehangir Saifullah. Bank accounts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and property in UK are owned by these companies.

Interestingly, Senator Osman Saifullah is a member of the Tax Reform Commission set up by the government to check revenue leakage, broaden the revenue base and improve tax administration.

A company earlier accused in the oil-for-food bribery scandal also resurfaced in the record reconfirming the late Benazir Bhutto, her nephew, Hassan Ali Jaffery and Senator Rehman Malik as the only three shareholders of Petroline International Inc.

Javed Pasha, a close friend of PPP C0-chairman, has been found linked with five companies. The remaining shareholders in those companies are prominent businessmen of Indian origin.

Examination of data indicates that some are beginners in this secret world, others incorporated the companies but left them dormant ending at dissolutions whereas many have kept them active using them for the intended purposes.

The record of ownership varies as it ranges from emails to spreadsheets, passports, signatures of shareholders, bank accounts details, property documents, resolution of directors and contact details in Pakistan and abroad.

Most of the services the offshore industry provides are legal in the origin of the respective jurisdictions like British Virgin Islands, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Republic of Panama, Republic of Seychelles, NIUE and others. What remains to be seen in terms of Pakistani individuals is the purpose of using tax havens and whether or not they have declared this business in their tax declarations.

Zulfiqar Lakhani of the Lakson group, CEO of three companies (Colgate Palmolive, Tetley Clover and Clover Pakistan) has been identified as a secret beneficial owner of a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, Lezayre Ltd since 2000. Proxy shareholders are Benson Equities Inc., Brock Nominees Limited and Tenby Nominees Limited.

Information shared only on December 4, 2015 with BVI identifies him as the beneficial owner having businesses in Pakistan. Activities carried out through the company have been described as “asset holding, bankable asset”. Source of wealth has been mentioned as “proceed of inheritance and business earning, CEO of Colgate Palmolive (Pakistan) Ltd and Tetley (Pakistan) Ltd.” Questions sent by The News for versions were not answered.

Founder of the Hashoo Group, Sadruddin Hashwani, is a secret beneficial owner along with his son, Murtaza, of the First Global Investments Holdings Limited registered in BVI that is run through corporate proxies as the shareholders are North Atlantic Services Limited and Rushlake Hotels (USA) Inc., registered in Florida, yet another tax haven.

When beneficial owners of the companies were disclosed upon insistence of the BVI administration, they turned out to be Sadruddin Hashwani and his son, Murtaza Hashwani. The company’s activities have been described as investment and asset holding with main countries of activities being Pakistan, Nigeria, USA and UAE. About the major shareholder, Rushlake Hotels (USA) Inc., documents described Rushlakeas “specializes in Estate Planning, Real Estate….”

First Global also owns shares of Orient Petroleum Inc and a mortgage deal of 30 million pounds was signed with Standard Bank PLC., for the Orient. Another company, Celtico Capital Management, is owned by Murtaza Hashwani. A detailed explaination of the Hashoo Group has been given at the bottom.

Ahmed Ali Riaz, son of property tycoon, Malik Riaz, was a shareholder of Westhorpe International Limited, a BVI registered company.

Shehbaz Yasin Malik, owner of Hilton Pharma, registered a company, Bladehurst Inc., in BVI in 2000. Purpose of setting it up has been described as “for holding a bank account” which is at Dresdner Bank, Zurich, Switzerland. Five family members are signatories of the account including his father, brothers and wife.

The Abdullah family of Sapphire Textiles Mills Limited has been identified in connection with as many as five companies registered in BVI and Seychelles. All of them were incorporated in April-May, 2014. Silver Lands Estate Limited, registered in BVI, has Muhammad Abdullah and his wife as shareholders, records show. Beneficial owners information, a document reads, “will be kept in our record of confidentiality.” Estimated value of assets to be held by the company has been described more than one million dollars. Same is the asset description of Green Dale Management Limited having shareholders, Yousuf Abdullah and wife.

Shahid Abdullah and his family control the shares of Green Dale Management Limited. Nadeem Abdullah and family are shareholders of Desert Properties Limited. Amer Abdullah and family own Microtex Holding Limited.

Two companies linked with the Hussain Dawood family are in the files. Carlino Limited, registered in BVI in 2005, identify its directors as Hussain Dawood, Shahzada Dawood and Abdul Samad Dawood, two offshore companies (Bazaar Investment Limited and Razaran Investment Limited) and one Saad Raja.

In August, 2009, the Dawoods transferred shares to Bazar and Razaran and resigned. Who are the beneficial owners of Bazar and Razaran remain anybody’s guess as they are controlled through corporate proxies.

Before Carlino, another company by the name of Eshter Finance Limited was registered in BVI in 2004 with Hussain Dawood, Shahzada Dawood and Abdul Samad Dawood, its shareholders.

Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman of Habib Bank Limited, and Khawaja Iqbal Hassan, former NIB bank President, held the power of attorney of Swiss Fixed Income Advisors, S.A. registered in BVI in April 1999. A letter from ABN AMRO N.V. London advised to its Singapore branch for the issuance of a draft of one million dollar favoring USB AG and to hand that over to either Sultan or Iqbal upon production of a passport. The Swiss Fixed Income Advisors was dissolved after this.

Shahid Nazir, CEO of Masood Textile Mills, has been identified in connection with a Bahamas-based company, Redford International Ltd, registered in 2000. Power of attorney was granted in his favour and that of Naziya Nazir with bank account at ABN AMRO N.V. London.

Slot Rapid, a BVI registered company of 2005, has proxy directors whereas the power of attorney is with Bashir Ahmed and Javed Shakoor of Buxly Paints and Dr Mehmood Ahmed of Berger Paints. The company’s investor account has been maintained with Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited.

Azam Sultan of ABM Group of Companies has been identified as the owner of five companies in Panama alongwith his wife and son. They are: ABM Worldwide Technologies, Salateen International Corporation, Wheaten Enterprises Inc., Sason International Corporation and Royston International Corporation Inc.

Owner of Pizza Hut (Pakistan), Aqueel Hassan and his brother, Tanwir Hassan, have been shown as the owners of Austell SA Aqueel. They replied to questions by saying that the company was created by his brother who had a business plan for the Middle East other than Pakistan and that he was not aware whether it was used or not.

Zulfiqar Paracha of Universal Corporation (Pvt) Ltd owns Munawara Holdings Inc., in Panama that was registered in 2014. He together with his family members are the shareholders. Source of the company’s income has been described as “business profit.”

Gohar Ejaz, the financier of Channel 24 and property tycoon, owns three companies: Sun International Investment Trading Limited, Platinum International Investment Limited and Platinum Real Estate Investment Limited. The former was set up in 2004 in BVI, rendered inactive and then re-registered in January 2007. The latter two companies were registered in Seychelles in May 2008. They own a share of Al Dua’a Investments Limited and Malish Limited.