Charities Pay No Taxes — Then Why the Secrecy?
This Panama Papers story is different from all others because businessmen, political leaders and criminals have varying explanations on why they hide their money or avoid taxes. A family that runs a network of charities globally has no such excuse. None.
Whatever motive you ascribe to these multiple offshore companies controlled by directors of Ahmadiyya charities, this is wrong on so many levels as I will summarize in the conclusion below. Let us explore.
Control Through Family Proxies
Charity literally begins at home for the Mirza Family who run the Qadiani branch of the Ahmadiyya religion like a cult through family branches and ‘lifelong devotees’ who are essentially bonded for life through a carrot and stick approach. The few of these devotees who have career capabilities outside the ‘system’ are ostracized for life, shunned and humiliated.
Problem 1: The leader who exercises day-to-day control over every flow of money does not hold office in any organization.
Chairman of Charity and Offshore Mortgage Holder is the Same Person
The Qadiani Ahmadiyya organization has subsidiaries of which the ‘real’ working one in the United Kingdom is Al-Shirkatul Islamiyyah. with last reported income of £8.5 million (PDF link). It prints proselytizing literature and runs the TV channel, and its director is Abdul Baqi Arshad, one such ‘devotee’ who is now 82 years old.
Although Mr. Arshad is the chairman of this charity, as well as many others, the real control is exercised by Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, a relative of Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya. The head — when he was not yet in power — was listed as president on offshore companies (next article).
Mr. Arshad signed the charity’s return and when he found out that Mossack Fonseca had leaked the information in 2015, ended the mortgage held by the family through the offshore company T.J. Holdings since the 1990s.
Who is the chairman of the charity? Mr. Arshad
Who is the contact for T.J. Holdings? Mr. Arshad
Who held the mortgage on Tahir House at 22 Deer Park Road? The Mirza Family.
Who controls the offshore company? The Mirza Family
Problem 2: Charities being run as family businesses
Problem 3: Conflict of Interest
Mirza Sharif Ahmad Foundation
Scroll up to the first picture and see that Mirza Mahmood Ahmad is also a director on the charity Mirza Sharif Ahmad Foundation, which is named after the father of the current head of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya, Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The declared purpose of this ‘charity’ is to build properties and since it was founded (when Mirza Masroor Ahmad came into power), it has accumulated 8.6 million pounds of properties (warning: large PDF) with little stated work that it promised to do in its charitable objectives.
Problem 4: Income is through transparent donations, why the personal ‘charities’ that just accumulate properties?
Offshore Companies are Family Trust Funds
As we will show in subsequent articles, the offshore companies are essentially trust funds set up for various branches of the Mirza family and they are fed through funds siphoned off charitable contributions, incomes from properties and through the gap in international transactions and regulations.
Problem 5: Why the mortgage on Tahir House?
Tahir House, 22 Deer Park Road, London
This building is not a place of worship and houses many of the ‘charities’ of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya. It has hosted many political types in the U.K. As we have seen above, it was largely purchased with charitable donations and then mortgaged to T.J. Holdings for close to two decades with no re-payment. Most likely, the mortgage was used as an asset to invest in other sources of income for T.J. Holdings, ultimately going into the pockets of the Mirza family.
It is highly irregular for directors of multiple inter-related charities to transact between them.
It is highly unbecoming for directors of charities to manage offshore accounts for other people who are related to their charities.
It gets tremendously suspicious when all these offshore companies have the same address and contact person (intermediary), and the beneficiaries of the offshore companies are various branches of the Mirza family, who also direct the charities and are under the direct control of Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
It is disgusting when a network of religious organizations is used to launder charitable donations from Pakistan, Germany, Canada and the U.S, through offshore accounts, and into property investments in the U.K. The Nawaz Sharif family did something similar, also from Pakistan, through children and a couple of friends, but nothing on this scale.
We call on the Charities Commission in the U.K. to investigate and shut down these charities and put this family out of this religious business. I am sure the faithful Ahmadis will organize themselves and manage fine without this greed-fueled family that has been using the donations of the poor to build a financial empire for the last 80 years.
Check this space for further investigations.