FBR seeks public help to track offshore investors
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) sought help of citizens to track individuals with offshore investments. FBR made public a list of 151 locals whose data was disclosed in various whistleblower documents, such as Panama, Paradise and Offshore leaks.
The revenue body is facing problems in identifying and contacting the individuals due to unavailability of their complete addresses and other particulars.
FBR requested all citizens of Pakistan who have any information that can lead to identification and tracking of the individuals to discharge their national duty by helping the revenue collecting agency. FBR also assured the information providers that their identity would strictly be kept confidential.
FBR officials said the revenue body is under pressure due to suo motu notices by Supreme Court of Pakistan in illegal offshore investments and unsatisfactory performance of relevant agencies to probe into investments identified
in the database, which was released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
In February, the apex court took a suo motu notice regarding undisclosed assets of Pakistanis who maintain bank accounts in foreign countries and have offshore investments.
The apex court expressed its displeasure over the performance of FBR and other agencies in bringing back the plundered money.
The Supreme Court ordered the FBR to submit a report with details of the steps taken on the leaked financial information and the action taken against citizens holding properties and bank accounts in foreign countries.
The apex court also constituted a three-member committee comprising the governor of State Bank of Pakistan, FBR chairman and secretary finance to encourage people to bring back their offshore assets. The court also directed FBR to inform how many Pakistanis hold accounts in Swiss and other banks.
Officials said the revenue body directed tax offices to obtain information and take action against individuals with offshore investments.