The first casualty of the Panama papers;Iceland P.M resigns

The first casualty of the Panama papers;Iceland P.M resigns

The first casualty of the Panama papers;Iceland P.M resigns

Written by Tharushan Fernando

05 Apr, 2016 | 10:05 pm

Iceland Prime Minster, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigns following the major data leak dubbed ‘Panama Papers’. The Prime Ministers resignation is the first prominent political fall out since the leak.

A former journalist and radio personality, Gunnlaugsson was a cog in the campaign that ran against the bank bailouts after the Icelandic financial crisis in 2008 and became chairman of the Progressive Party shortly thereafter.

He entered the parliament in 2009 and led the Progressive party to victory in 2013.

The resignation comes in the wake of massive protests that were instigated following the ‘Panama Papers’ data leak

Gunnlaugsson and Pálsdóttir owned a British Virgin Islands shell company called Wintris Inc., which held nearly $4 million in bonds in the three major Icelandic banks. Those banks collapsed in 2008, and Gunnlaugsson campaigned against bailing out foreign creditors. It is unclear whether Gunnlaugsson’s political positions benefited or hurt the value of the bonds held by Wintris. In 2009, Gunnlaugsson entered parliament but failed to declare his ownership of Wintris. On the last day of 2009, he sold his 50 percent share in Wintris to Pálsdóttir for a dollar. Mossack Fonseca noted in April 2013 that Pálsdóttir was a so-called politically exposed person, but internal records suggest the firm did nothing about it.

-ICIJ-

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