A day after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson denied that the party chief owned an overseas holding, Imran Khan admitted he formed an offshore company in 1983 during his cricketing years in London.
Speaking to reporters at London Heathrow Airport, Imran said he formed the offshore firm on the advice of his accountant to “avoid UK taxes”.
“I was already paying 35 per cent tax on my income there, so to avoid further taxes, I bought the flat through an offshore firm, which was my right as I was not a British citizen,” he said, adding, “There is no illegality in it.”
Leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama last month showed premier’s children Hassan, Hussain and Maryam owned at least three offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Detractors say no way out for Nawaz
Earlier, the PTI chief, being a critic of the incumbent government, had categorically said, “The only reason people opened offshore accounts was to either hide wealth or evade tax.”
Only reason ppl open offshore accts through Panama is to either hide wealth, esp ill-gotten wealth, or to evade tax or both.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 4, 2016
According to the United Kingdom’s official land registry records, Imran’s property a flat in South Kensington was registered in the name of ‘Niazi Services Limited’ of Jersey, Channel Island, on May 3 1984. The flat was sold in March 2003 for £715,000.
Jersey of Channel Island is one of the havens for offshore companies.
In reaction to Imran’s statement, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz called the PTI chairman “the pioneer of offshore companies”.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) May 13, 2016
Courtesy : Express Tribune