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Old 05-04-16, 16:14   #1
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Breaking News Panama Papers>HUGE Leak Reveals World's Elite's Tax Havens

At a Glance: Global Fallout From Offshore Accounts Reports

Daily Mail UK, 5 April 2016

Reports drawn from 11.5 million leaked documents detailing how and where politicians, businesses and celebrities hide their wealth are triggering reactions from around the globe.

The reports by the Guardian UK and an international coalition of media outlets working with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists are based on documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's biggest creators of shell companies.

Here's a look at some reactions the reports are drawing.

Chinese magazines featuring former Chinese President Hu Jintao and former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao are displayed at a newsstand in Beijing, China, Tuesday, 5 April 2016. Previous reports by international media on the personal finances of Chinese leaders have drawn retaliation from Beijing, frequently through the blocking of media websites and a refusal to issue visas to their journalists. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)



The office of Argentine President Mauricio Macri confirmed a report by La Nacion newspaper that a business group owned by Macri's family had set up Fleg Trading Ltd. in the Bahamas. But it said Macri himself had no shares in Fleg and never received income from it.


A tax agency said it is investigating more than 800 wealthy people for possible tax evasion linked to their alleged dealings with Mossack Fonseca. The Australian Tax Office said that it had linked more than 120 of those people to an offshore services provider in Hong Kong, but did not name the company.


The reports say the Panamanian law firm had arranged offshore companies for relatives of at least eight present or past members of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of power in China.

Among those it mentioned was the brother-in-law of President Xi Jinping. China's foreign ministery denounced the reports as "groundless." State media are ignoring the reports and search results of websites and social media for the words "Panama documents" were blocked.


The Czech Center for Investigative Journalism said the leaked documents show that 283 Czech citizens are associated with offshore companies. The center said the most favorite offshore haven for Czechs are the Seychelles, followed by the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and others. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec says police will investigate the data.


A French prosecutor launched an investigation into possible money laundering after the release of the leaked documents. Several hundred French citizens reportedly feature among the individuals mentioned.


News reports alleged that Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and his wife set up a company in the British Virgin Islands. The reports have prompted calls for a no-confidence vote in parliament against him.

Gunnlaugsson says there is nothing new in the information in the data leak but offered to dissolve parliament and call a new election. The president refused the request, but will consult with other party leaders before agreeing to end the coalition government.


Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has just resigned.



Italian weekly L'Espresso said about 1,000 Italian clients turned up in a database of offshore accounts cited in the media investigation, including Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

L'Espresso said documents showed a series of contracts set up in 2007 indicated Montezemolo as the head of a Panama-based company named Lenville. It said Montezemolo, who was Fiat chairman and Ferrari CEO at the time, declined comment when contacted.


Prime Minister John Key rejected ICIJ's characterization of his country as among 21 tax havens used by Mossack Fonseca. "Tax havens are where there is nondisclosure of information," Key said. "New Zealand has full disclosure of information."


The bank DNB said it regrets having helped about 40 customers open offshore companies in the Seychelles with the help of Mossack Fonseca. The bank was reacting to a report in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten showing it had helped customers set up shell companies in the Seychelles to avoid taxes.

The bank said "that it was legal to set up this type of companies doesn't mean that it was correct for us to do it for these customers."


Documents published by more than 100 media outlets alleged that President Vladimir Putin's friends, including leading cellist Sergei Rodulgin, were engaged in an offshore scheme.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there is nothing to implicate the president. Peskov suggested that the publication was a smear campaign with Putin as a target with a goal of influencing Russian politics.


Spanish tax authorities said they are investigating allegations of tax irregularities involving soccer player Lionel Messi and movie director Pedro Almodovar.

Messi's family released a statement Monday denying wrongdoing and threatened to sue media outlets that released the information linking the Argentine player to accounts in Panama. Almodovar's brother says the company for them was dissolved a few yars after it opened in the 1990s.


The leaks indicate that Ukraine President Petro Proshenko set up an offshore holding company to move his candy business to the British Virgin Islands, possibly depriving Ukraine of millions of dollars tax revenue.

Poroshenko had promised voters he would sell his business when he ran for office.

Poroshenko insists he has done nothing wrong and hasn't managed his assets since being elected. Some adversaries are calling for his removal from office.

A couple wearing masks walk past publications featuring former Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao displayed at a newsstand in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denounced as "groundless" reports based on documents leaked from a Panama-based law firm that name relatives of current and retired Chinese politicians, including President Xi Jinping, as owning offshore companies. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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