Connect with us


Dubai Property Leaks expose Pakistani elite with assets worth $11bn

The list comprises political figures, individuals under global sanctions, suspected money launderers, and criminals



Dubai Property Leaks expose Pakistani elite with assets worth $11bn
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: A comprehensive international investigative journalism initiative has unveiled the property ownership details of global elites in Dubai.

The list comprises political figures, individuals under global sanctions, suspected money launderers, and criminals. Pakistani nationals are also among those identified, with their combined property value estimated at around $11 billion.

Dubbed 'Dubai Unlocked', the project is based on extensive data providing insights into hundreds of thousands of properties in Dubai, focusing on ownership or usage details primarily from 2020 to 2022. It excludes properties registered under companies and those situated in commercial areas.

The data, procured by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, was shared with Norwegian financial outlet E24 and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

This collaboration involved a six-month investigative endeavor with reporters from 74 media outlets across 58 countries, uncovering numerous convicted criminals, fugitives, and political figures with ownership ties to Dubai properties.

The Property Leaks reveal several prominent Pakistanis including President Asif Ali Zardari’s children, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s spouse, Sharjeel Memon, Senator Faisal Vawda, and others from the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies.

Besides it, the notable individuals such as the late Gen Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, and several retired generals are listed as property owners in Dubai.

Furthermore, the investigative project highlights discrepancies in property declarations, such as Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s wife's ownership of a villa in Dubai, which was not disclosed in his Senate election nomination papers.

Despite questions raised, responses from the individuals mentioned were not received, except for clarification from Naqvi’s wife regarding a property purchase in Dubai earlier this year.

According to the leaked data, Indian nationals top the list in terms of foreign property ownership in Dubai, with Pakistanis ranking second. The average property value per Pakistani owner is estimated at approximately $0.41 million, contributing to a combined property value of around $11 billion, compared to the total property value of $386 billion belonging to individuals from 204 nationalities.

The Property Leaks data provides insights into property ownership, including controlling parties and identifying information.  The journalists disclosed ownership details only when deemed relevant to the public interest, particularly involving convicted or accused individuals, those facing sanctions, and public officials or their associates accused of corruption or concealment of properties.

The reporters meticulously verified identities and ownership statuses using official records, open-source research, and other leaked datasets.

Besides it, Dubai's official land registry was consulted to ascertain current ownership statuses where possible.