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LONDON: A medical doctor running a private hospital in Rawalpindi’s poor Arya Mohalla locality and a businessman arrested in London on drug charges are among many Pakistani businessmen holding UK properties through offshore companies, according to a Dawn investigation.

These new facts go against the public perception in Pakistan that only politicians are hiding their wealth from the taxman and the anti-corruption bodies in the UK properties bought through offshore companies.

Dr Raazia Ajmal runs Ajmal Hospital in narrow lanes of Arya Mohalla, opposite Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, but she is also the owner of Mill Cross Limited, an offshore company incorporated in Bahamas. It was through her offshore company that Dr Raazia Ajmal bought a six-bedroom terraced house on The Vale, Golders Green, northwest London, in September 2002 for 475,000 pounds. The current market value of the property could easily be well over one million pounds as two smaller houses on the same location were sold in 2016 and 2015 for 1,160,000 and 965,000 pounds, respectively.

Asif Hafeez, a UAE-based Pakistani businessman arrested in London in August 2017 on a US Drug Enforcement Agency warrant and fighting extradition to the US from his cell in high-security Belmarsh prison, also owns two farmhouses — The Old Farm and The Old House — worth around five million pounds in Maidenhead, Berkshire, which he bought through Sarwani S.A., an offshore company incorporated in Panama. Mr Hafeez also owns an expensive flat in Crown Court, near Regent Park mosque in Central London, but it is not listed among properties he bought through offshore companies.

Corlinio Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and linked to Lahore-based industrialist and chairman Dawood Hercules Corporation, Hussain Dawood, owns a property in Bristal Gardens. The exact value of the property is not known, but a basement flat in one of the Bristal Gardens properties was bought for over a million pounds in 2017.

Tawheed International Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and linked to Karachi-based businesswoman Nosheen Riaz Khan, owns a six-bedroom detached house in Chadwich Place in Surrey. It was bought for 1,175,000 pounds in September 2010.

Minhas Securities Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and linked to Karachi-based Navaid Malik, owns a flat on Duke Street, Richmond. Although the exact purchase price of the flat is not known, an adjoining property was sold in 2011 for 800,000 pounds.

Paliser Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the Isle of Man and linked to Karachi-based businessman Abdul Rehman Allana, owns a property on York Road, Wandsworth, London, which was bought in October 2003 for 569,800 pounds. Releck Limited, another offshore company also incorporated in the Isle of Man and linked to Mr Allana, owns a property on Palace Road in Lambeth, London, which was purchased for 570,000 pounds in January 2017.

Drayson Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and linked to Karachi-based Maha Abedi Dadabhoy, owns a flat on Southwick Street which was bought in July 2009 for 380,000 pounds, though the current market value of the property could be much higher as a flat in Devonport establishment where this is situated was sold in 2016 for 950,000 pounds. The same offshore company owns another property in Kirkgate, Oatley, Leeds.

Cherryvale Estate Limited, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, linked to Lahore-based couple Rubina Haider (also known as Rubina Riaz) and Riaz Haider Ali, owns two properties. The first property, situated on Kingsbury Road, London, was bought for 128,000 pounds in June 2005, though the current price of the property could be much higher. The second property linked to Rubina Riaz and Riaz Haider Ali is situated on Liverpool Road, London. Although the exact price of the property is unknown, a flat on the same address was sold for 460,000 pounds in February 2013.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2018