Written by Tharushan Fernando
05 Apr, 2016 | 10:22 pm
The data leak dubbed ‘Panama papers’ has been churning out names of political as well as public figureheads alongside their associates, with evidence of tax evasion,money laundering through the use of off shore accounts
The international consortium of investigative journalists exposed a data base called the “Offshore Leaks” where addresses of Sri Lankan companies had been listed, on an earlier occasion.
Sri Lankan Politicians have been addressing the issue of money laundering for the past few months.
Later March 2015 ,UNP MP Harsha De Silva charged that Seychelles is where large-scale , black to white money conversion takes place.
“We have received word that the billions in US Dollars have been moved from there to Dubai and then deposited in Ukraine”he said and raised questions as to whom this money belonged to.
During the same time the Minister of Finance,Ravi Karunanayake brought to the attention of the public that there was money being moved to the Ukraine and the money trail is being looked at
In June last year,John Amaratunga made allegation that there were petitions claiming that there is evidence to prove that some Sri Lankan Politicians had bank accounts in Bangkok
Now the Panama leak has stirred up the political arena once again with long-standing accusations of money laundering being brought back in to the publics eye.
Minister of Public Enterprise Development,Kabir Hashim pointed out that the Panama story is just emerging and it looks like Sri Lanka companies and entities are being named in this controversy.
“Of course as a country we have to be responsible to ensure that there is accountability” he said and further added that the Sri Lankan Government will definitely want to have a full detailed exposure of who these companies are and for what purposes these funds have been deposited in Panama, so there will be probably questions asked in Parliament there will be questions taken up in cabinet level and the Government will definitely act with responsibility to ensure that there is accountability to the people.
Convener for Voice Against Corruption, Wasanatha Samarasinghe stated that this report has revealed details of how state leaders of 50 countries in the world worked towards converting stolen money into white money and so the FCID and the Bribery Commission can also obtain this report and their assistance and conduct and investigation to locate the money stolen from the public.
Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera charged that in the recent past allegations were levelled and submitted complaints on how public money was stolen through the construction of roads, bridges, drains and contractors, how they earned black money through various irregular means and were deposited in foreign accounts
“Now it has come to a point where Sri Lankan names have also been mentioned in the Panama incident”he said and urged the government to immediately look into this matter and reveal the truth to the country.
Over the past year, a global movement of journalists came together to sift through 11.5 million internal files from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm.
The files were leaked to the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung which in turn shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Süddeutsche Zeitung says only that it was contacted by an “anonymous source” over a year ago.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson
People have taken to the streets in Iceland demanding Mr Gunnlaugsson resign but he is refusing to step down.Leaked tax documents revealed accusations Mr Gunnlaugsson and his wife Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir used Mossack Fonseca to allegedly hide million-dollar investments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
The leak uncovered a suspected money laundering ring involving close associates of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.According to analysis, as much as $2 billion has been secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies linked to Putin’s associates including long time friend and cellist
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
The Pakistani PM has come under questioning in regard to he spectacular wealth and is now under the investigative eye of Transparency International as a result of the leaked documents
British Prime Minister David Cameron
The main opposition Labour party in Britain has asked David Cameron to take strong action against offshore tax havens following the release of the Panama Papers. Mr Cameron himself has been a leader in the push for tax-haven reform and is now being targeted over the newly released paper.Mr Cameron’s late father Ian was among those identified in relation to investments set up by Mossack Fonseca
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko
Ukraine’s billionaire “chocolate king” became president in 2014, painting himself as a figurehead against the corrupt oligarchy.According to the ICIJ, as Russian troops advanced into Eastern Ukraine in August 2014, Poroshenko became the sole shareholder of Prime Asset Partners Ltd, set up in the British Virgin Islands.
Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud – King of Saudi Arabia
According to the Mossack Fonseca data, the king has an “unspecified role” in a network of British Virgin Islands companies.These companies were used to buy multimillion-dollar luxury homes in central London, and King Salman is also the “principal user” of a motor yacht, Erga, registered by a BVI company that can be traced back to the king.
President of Argentina ,Mauricio Macri
Macri, his father Francisco and brother Mariano were directors of Fleg Trading Ltd, incorporated in the Bahamas in 1998 and dissolved in January 2009,. In asset declarations in 2007 and 2008 when he was mayor of Buenos Aires, Macri did not disclose his connection to Fleg Trading. He declared a Merrill Lynch bank account in the United States with $2.9 million in 2007 and $1.9 million in the same account in 2008. Macri also declared $158,000 in foreign assets in 2008, but did not specify their source or location
Head of China’s Communist Party and President of China,Xi Jinping
Deng Jiagui, brother-in-law of one of China’s most important politicians, current President Xi Jinping, became the sole director and shareholder of two British Virgin Islands-based “shelf companies” in Mossack Fonseca’s inventory. The companies were called “Best Effect Enterprises Ltd” and “Wealth Ming International Limited.”
President of South Africa,Jacob Zuma
Clive Khulubuse Zuma is a nephew of South Africa’s president ,was authorized to represent Caprikat Limited, one of two offshore companies that controversially acquired oil fields in the Democratic Republic of Congo
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