|Arabian Post Special|The leaked Panama Papers figure over 7700 offshore entities from the United Arab Emirates, which include more than 180 intermediaries, the latest release from the whistle blower reveals. Most of these are registered in British Virgin Islands and Panama.
These entities belong to various nationalities, but a large number of them feature Indian names. Considering the large presence of Indian community in the UAE and their dominance in business, this is hardly surprising. In comparison India has only 22 entities and 42 intermediaries that find mention in the leaked papers.
The disclosed entities include those set up as early as in the eighties and nineties as well as businesses incorporated as late as last year. The entities and intermediaries include some prominent businessmen associated with the gold trade and other traditional businesses, apart from free zone companies including Jebel Ali.
Most of the services the offshore industry provides can be used for legal purpose and are by law-abiding customers. But the documents show that banks, law firms and other offshore players often fail to follow legal requirements to make sure clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption. Panama Papers show that fixers and middlemen protect themselves and their clients by concealing suspect transactions. In some instances, they work to head off official investigations by backdating and destroying documents. Many of these entities may have been set up for genuine business and management purposes, but at least some could have been used to stash black money and evade law.
The Arabian Post had earlier reported that the Ras Al Khaimah Offshore Centre was among the centres, along with London, Miami and Zurich, used by Mossack Fonseca, the little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama, to help businessmen to hide wealth.