ISLAMABAD: A report submitted at the Supreme Court on Monday revealed that Pakistanis own around $150 billion worth of properties and assets in the United Arab Emirates alone.

The report compiled and presented in court by chartered accountancy firm A.F. Ferguson that was submitted in connection with a SC case on Pakistani nationals’ properties and bank accounts abroad. That the data be ‘handled with care’ the firm urged the apex court. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that how come such a massive amount was still amassed abroad despite the amnesty scheme.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa also briefed the apex court on measures taken to recover the identified funds.

“Notices have been issued to the 125 people who have assets in the UAE,” he said.

If they write on affidavits that they do have assets outside of Pakistan, the State Bank will interrogate and tax them, he said and added that if they deny then the bank would take the help of the UAE government and ask them to take action in accordance with benami properties law.

The court was told that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other agencies’ assistance had also been sought.

The chief justice expressed his dissatisfaction on the progress of the case, remarking that those concealing their assets abroad qualify for money laundering trials.