The International Consortium for Journalists (ICIJ) has released another list of documents, revealed more names of popular personalities across the globe having offshore accounts in which Pakistan Ex Prime Minister – Shaukat Aziz is listed.
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IN THE DATA
Aziz, who worked for Citibank before starting his career as a politician, was one of the shareholders and directors of Bahamas-registered Cititrust Limited from 1997 to 1999, along with other executives of the bank.
In 1999, the year he was appointed finance minister, Aziz created the Antarctic Trust, which was “constituted [in the United States] for the benefit of the Settlor’s family,” which includes his wife, three children and a granddaughter. The trust does not appear in the financial disclosure statements Aziz submitted from 2003 to 2006, while he was finance minister and prime minister.
Appleby’s Bermuda office was the trust’s protector, acting as an independent overseer. In a 2012 internal memo, the law firm’s compliance officer noted that Aziz had been accused by the opposition of false declaration of assets, corruption and misappropriation of funds. Three years later, in a database of high-risk clients, Appleby also noted that a Pakistani court had issued three arrest warrants against Aziz in relation to the killing of a local leader. In September 2015, Antarctic Trust was closed and the related file removed from one of Appleby’s internal databases. Aziz has dismissed both the accusations of graft and any association with the murder.
The Antarctic Trust, now closed, held most of Aziz’s assets earned when he worked at Citicorp and was created before he relocated to Pakistan to be appointed finance minister. The purpose was “to insure that if he were to die, his assets would pass efficiently to his family,” Aziz’s lawyer told ICIJ. The law in Pakistan requires politicians to disclose their assets. Asked why Aziz’s asset declarations in Pakistan didn’t mention the Antarctic Trust, the lawyer told ICIJ that the “legal owner” of the trust was Citicorp Trust Delaware N.A., not Aziz, and that Aziz and his family members paid all U.S. taxes they owed, the lawyer said.Cititrust is an affiliate of Citicorp where Aziz was an executive, and managed his personal assets for many years, the lawyer said.