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HomeNewsCrimePakistanis Own $11b worth of Properties, as Reported in Dubai Leaks

Pakistanis Own $11b worth of Properties, as Reported in Dubai Leaks

According to a report released on Tuesday, Pakistanis, including former government officials, political figures, bureaucrats, and individuals under sanctions, collectively own properties valued at $11 billion in Dubai.

Dubai Unlocked, a global investigative journalism project, has meticulously compiled details of hundreds of thousands of properties in Dubai, along with information regarding their ownership or usage, primarily spanning from 2020 to 2022.

The Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a Washington-based non-profit organization, acquired the data, which was subsequently shared with Norwegian financial outlet E24 and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

The OCCRP spearheaded a six-month investigative initiative, collaborating with journalists from 74 media outlets across 58 countries. Among them, The News and Dawn represented Pakistan.

The data encompasses over 17,000 properties attributed to Pakistani nationals up to the spring of 2022.

Notable figures included in the list are President Asif Ali Zardari’s children, the wife of Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, Sindh’s senior minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Senator Faisal Vawda, Sher Afzal Marwat, Farah Gogi, and at least six members of provincial assemblies from Sindh and Balochistan.

The list also comprises the late Gen Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, retired generals, a police chief, an ambassador, and a scientist. These individuals either directly or indirectly own properties through their spouses and children, according to the report.

It’s important to note that being mentioned in the data does not imply involvement in financial crimes or tax fraud. Additionally, the data does not provide details such as residency status, sources of income, or tax declarations for rental income or capital gains. Dawn reported that several individuals approached for comment on their properties and stated that they had been declared to the tax authorities.

However, the issue of capital outflow remains a concern for Pakistan’s struggling economy.

Read more: PM Sharif announces comprehensive SOE privatization plan

Earlier this year, Better Homes, a property consultancy based in Dubai, reported that Pakistanis were among the top 10 buyers of Dubai property in 2023. According to Better Homes, Indians topped the list of buyers, while Pakistanis ranked seventh and surpassed their purchases from 2022.

An official from the renowned developer DAMAC Properties noted a shift in the interest of Pakistanis towards Dubai’s real estate market. While investment purposes have been the primary motivation in the past, there is now a trend towards relocation, especially considering Dubai’s stability compared to Pakistan.

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