Absence of legal framework hurdle in bringing back looted wealth, FBR tells SC

Absence of legal framework hurdle in bringing back looted wealth, FBR tells SC

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), in its report presented to Supreme Court (SC) during a hearing into the suo motu case with regard to foreign bank accounts on Thursday stated that the board is impotent to bring back the looted wealth by Pakistani nationals stashed in their foreign accounts owing to an absence of the legal framework.
In the report, FBR stated that it has been investigating as many as 444 people named in the leaked documents including Panama Papers but the board couldn’t bring the wealth stashed abroad by Pakistani nationals due to legal complexities.
It was further stated in the report that the FBR has sought property details of 55 Pakistanis from authorities in UAE, besides notices to 366 Pakistanis named in the Panama Papers have also been issued notices.
About filing of income tax returns, the FBR reported that 47 out of 61 non-filers, named in the Panama Papers, have filed their income tax returns.
Earlier on February 1, CJP Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of foreign bank accounts held by Pakistani citizens.
The CJP said there are reports that people in positions of power have been looting money and transferring it to foreign countries.
The Supreme Court asked FBR to submit a report in court on the steps it had taken regarding the matter of offshore companies after the release of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, which revealed details of wealth stored abroad by Pakistani citizens.
The court also directed the FBR, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Finance Ministry to submit a detailed report on the matter in court.
“The SBP, Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Federal Investigation Agency should share their information with the court,” the chief justice said.
He added that the Foreign Ministry and SBP should share details of Memorandums of Understanding and agreements to be inked with various countries for the return of looted money to the country.


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