World

LAHORE (Staff Report) – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the journalist body which exposed ownership of offshore companies in Panama Papers, has announced to release a searchable database of over 200,000 offshore companies on May 9.

Using the database, users will be able to search through the original documents of Mossack Fonseca to identify the original owners of offshore companies, who belong to over 200 countries and territories reportedly.

The database, which would probably be the largest document cloud online, will comprise of information  about companies, trusts, foundations and funds established in 21 tax havens including Panama, Hong Kong, United States and British Virgin Islands.

However, the ICIJ will not be releasing personal information of the owners -such as addresses, phone number, passport numbers and email correspondence- to ensure the safety of these people.

The database will be accessible at https://offshoreleaks.icij.org on May 9, and people around the world would be able to access it, as per the local laws of their countries.

Meanwhile, Umar Cheema -an investigative journalist who represents ICIJ in Pakistan- has said that another episode of Panama Papers will soon be released in Pakistan. The leak will include information about over 400 Pakistanis who own offshore companies.

Most of these Pakistanis are businessmen and residents of Defence Housing Authorities (DHAs) located in different cities of Pakistan. Karachi tops among cities to host the owners of these companies while Lahore is second.

Earlier, the first installment of Panama Paper carried names of over 200 Pakistanis. Several politicians and their close relatives were also included in the list. Others included businessmen, judges, lawyers and media owners.