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PM Imran calls on countries to return looted wealth

Imran Khan Calls on Countries to Return Looted Wealth

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday made a passionate appeal to the international community to take decisive action and work to stop white-collar criminals from “bleeding” developing countries dry.
In a speech to the United Nations International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI), Pakistani Prime Minister Imran said the countries these criminals see as “tax havens” must return the wealth looted from developed countries.
“We welcome the interim report of the FACTI panel. The figures […] mentioned in the report are staggering,” Khan said.
He said that $1 billion is withdrawn each year “by these white-collar criminals”.
“$20 billion to $40 billion comes in the form of bribes received by these corrupt white-collar criminals,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran added.
Citing other findings, he noted that $7 trillion in stolen assets is stationed in these safe tax haven destinations and $500-600 billion is lost annually due to corporate tax evasion.
“This haemorrhage of the poor and the developing countries must stop,” urged the Pakistani Prime Minister.
He called on the international community to “take decisive action”, before moving on to the list of 9 recommendations:
1. Stolen assets from developing countries, including proceeds of corruption, bribes and other crimes, must be returned immediately.
2. Safe harbour authorities should impose criminal and financial penalties on their financial institutions that receive and use this money and assets.
3. Enablers of corruption and bribery, such as accountants and lawyers and other intermediaries, should be tightly regulated, monitored and held accountable.
4. Beneficial ownership of foreign companies must be disclosed immediately upon the request of affected governments.
5. Multinational corporations should not be allowed to resort to profit, shifting to low tax jurisdictions to avoid taxation. A minimum global corporate tax could prevent this practice.
6. Digital transaction income should be taxed where it is generated, not elsewhere.
7. Unequal investment treaties should be discarded or revised, and a fair system for settling investment disputes should be put in place.
8. All official and unofficial bodies created to control and monitor illicit financial loopholes should include all interested countries.
9. The United Nations should establish a mechanism to coordinate and oversee the work of the various official and unofficial bodies dealing with illicit financial defaults to ensure consistency, and fairness in their work.
Khan said that amid the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an even greater need for developing countries “to protect and preserve their precious resources”.
“If these steps are not taken, the difference between rich and emerging countries will continue to grow. Developing countries will become poorer and what we see of the current migration crisis will be eclipsed by what will happen in the future,” warned the Pakistani prime minister.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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