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Thu 6 Sep 2018 01:54 PM

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New Pakistan gov't chases '$150bn in undeclared assets' stashed in UAE

More than 2,750 properties in the UAE remain undeclared for tax purposes, according to Pakistan's intelligence agencies

New Pakistan gov't chases '$150bn in undeclared assets' stashed in UAE
Imran Khan, Pakistan's new Prime Minister.

Pakistan’s new government is mulling moves to repatriate or tax up to $150 billion in offshore wealth that it says has been laundered to buy property in the UAE.

The figure comes from a report by PwC firm AF Ferguson presented to the Supreme Court of Pakistan earlier this week.

The apex court is currently hearing a case involving whether money laundering cases can be registered against Pakistani nationals who own offshore assets undeclared for tax purposes.

The Pakistani government alleges that the money can be successfully traced back to corrupt politicians, officials and businessmen in the country who can be prosecuted to either repatriate the funds or have them taxed.

The country’s Federal Investigation Agency told the court that it has currently taken notice of 2,750 undisclosed properties held by Pakistani nationals in the UAE.

The agency has also issued notices to over 200 property owners in the UK who have not disclosed assets they hold in London, it told the Court.

The agency told the court that inquiries into the properties held in Dubai were stalled partly because the Agency wasn’t able to source records from Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency. Further inquiries were stalled in 2018 because Pakistan had declared a three month tax amnesty scheme during which all nationals with undisclosed offshore assets were free to declare their properties for tax purposes without incurring retroactive liabilities.

That amnesty ended on July 31, 2018, and the agency told the court it has since re-initated proceedings.