LAHORE: While Pakistan continues to urge the world to control the flow of illegally acquired wealth, some developing and less developed countries have practically come a long way over the past two decades to recover their stolen wealth that is parked and hidden abroad. beach tax haven.
For the second time in five months on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan was again seen and heard discussing this serious matter. Addressing a virtual United Nations-led debate in New York, the prime minister urged the international community to take steps to fight illicit cash flows, but as the introductory paragraph of this story states, there are some who are much poorer and less resourceful. government rather than Pakistan, which has managed to get back their looted money at all costs.
According to the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, a joint project of the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Philippines has recovered more than US $ 1 billion in cash, most of it from Switzerland, stolen by one of its countries. leader, Ferdinand Marcos. In the case of the Philippines, this is an ongoing process for the past 21 years, and all regimes in succession after Marcos’ overthrow, assiduously carry on this task with much determination who have fought long and costly legal battles abroad with grit, exemplary endurance and persistence.
In 2007, Peru, had recovered more than $ 174 million, from jurisdictions such as Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and the United States, which was reportedly stolen by Vladimiro Montesinos, the former head of the country’s intelligence service under President Alberto Fujimori. In the Nigerian case, the stolen property worth $ 700 million, which was frozen and confiscated by Swiss authorities, has been returned to the country after a lengthy court process. A former Nigerian leader, Sani Abacha, has been accused by political opponents of defrauding the state treasury and robbing compatriots.
In 2006 and 2007, British and South African authorities have also helped Nigeria recover US $ 17.7 million from illegal gains made by the governor of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa. On December 17, 2019, the “Al-Jazeera” report mentioned how Angola recovered more than $ 5 billion in stolen assets. In the case of Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan actually appealed to global platforms like the United Nations-led high-level panel on “International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Development Agenda” that stole assets of developing countries, which have been kept with safe offshore tax havens in particular, must be returned to the poor countries which have been robbed of impunity by their rulers and other powerful men. He has insisted since September 24, 2020, that a staggering sum of at least one trillion dollars is being spent annually by white-collar criminals, adding that any amount between US $ 20 billion and $ 40 billion is in bribes and kickbacks. accepted by the corrupt elements who presided over the affairs.
Pakistan’s head of government has repeatedly stated in the past that while $ 7 trillion in stolen assets is parked in this secure tax haven, an estimated $ 500 billion to 600 billion are lost annually as a result of tax evasion by multinational corporations. On 24 September 2020, Imran urged the world by saying: “The bleeding of the poor and developing countries must stop. The international community must take firm action.” A month later, on 24 October 2020, Pakistan again urged the international community to ensure that the assets of the stolen developing countries were returned to them.
In a statement before the Sixth Committee, the UN General Assembly’s main legal forum, Pakistan, has demanded a mandatory framework to combat bad practices, such as diversion of profits to avoid taxation. The Pakistani representative attending the debate argued: “The figures for wealth stolen from corrupt practices, including bribery, tax evasion and money laundering, are staggering – around $ 2.6 trillion per year.”
A few days earlier, a United Nations panel had reported: “The government loses up to $ 600 billion in annual tax revenues for the diversion of foreign profits by multinational companies, in addition to illegal monetary flows that damage developing countries’ economies.”