Panama Paper leak: France, Australia, others commence investigation

Posted by News Express | 5 April 2016 | 2,452 times

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Following a huge leak of confidential documents, investigations into the activities of the world’s rich and powerful has begun by the authorities of some countries, while others are said to be looking into the matter.

According to Reuters, France, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands are among nations that have commenced investigations, and some other countries, including the United States, said they were looking into the matter.

A panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca documents were on Monday leaked. The documents show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. The document went ahead to reveal some of the names of the worlds rich and powerful.

Among those named in the documents are friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin and relatives of the leaders of China, Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.

Leading figures and financial institutions responded to the massive leak of more than 11.5 million documents with denials of any wrongdoing as prosecutors and regulators began a review of the reports from the investigation by the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and other media organizations.

According to a Reuters report, the Panamanian based firm said the nearly 40 years old organisation has never been charged with or formally investigated for criminal wrongdoing.

The firm said in a statement: "We do not advise clients on how to operate their businesses. We don't link ourselves in any way to companies we help incorporate".

"Excluding the professional fees we earn, we don't take possession of clients' money, or otherwise have anything to do with any of the direct financial aspects related to operating these businesses."

Mossack Fonseca also said it supports international initiatives requiring greater transparency of newly incorporated companies and trusts and has implemented such measures as part of its own due diligence.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement that its Inland Revenue Department has taken note of the recent release of the documents and will take "necessary actions" based on any information it gets. It will not comment on individual cases or disclose the course of action because of secrecy provisions in Hong Kong tax law, the government said.


Source: News Express

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