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A minister in Imran Khan’s Pakistan government pulled out of making planned investments through offshore tax havens after he was told his country’s tax authorities would be informed, documents in the Pandora papers suggest.
Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, Khan’s minister for water resources and a member of an influential family in Pakistani business and politics, expressed “concerns” in August 2017 about the investment being reported to his home country, according to the papers, and instead decided to establish a trust structure in the UK.
According to the documents and the investigation carried out by local media site El Universo, Lasso ended up operating through 14 offshore companies, most of them in Panama, closing them only after former left-wing Ecuadorian premier Rafael Correa promoted a law banning candidates from being the beneficial owners of companies located in tax havens.
In his defence, Lasso claims that he opened these opaque companies because national legislation prevents bankers from investing in his country. He also claims that 10 of these companies are already inactive; he denies any relationship with or profit from the other four.