Panama Case: Supreme Court grills Chairman FBR

Panama Case: Supreme Court grills Chairman FBR

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan grilled the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue in the Supreme Court over the issue of the Panama Papers investigations.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed hearing the Panama Leaks case on Tuesday.

Chairmen National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) presented themselves in the apex court.

On Monday, Chairman NAB submitted references related to the Sharif family in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills and Raiwind Estate cases in the Supreme Court.The two references were filed 17 years ago during the tenure of military dictator General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.

During the proceedings today, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked FBR about its role in offshore companies.

The FBR chairman replied that he had contacted the Foreign Office over offshore companies named in the Panama Papers.

He said he had sent notice to 343 people in September 2016, of which 52 people refused ownership, while 39 were not Pakistani citizens. He added that 92 individuals agreed to owning offshore companies while 12 individuals have passed away.

To this the judges remarked that the Foreign Office was situated at a distance of only 200 yards from the FBR office. "It took the FBR six months to cover a distance of 200 yards," Justice Azmat Saeed said. He further asked, what reply did he get when he sent notices to the Sharif family.

The FBR chairman replied that Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz had replied to the notice on 21 November 2016. Maryam had said she did not have any property abroad.

She did not mention being trustee to any property either, he said. Meanwhile Hussain Nawaz replied that he had been living abroad since 2000.