Panama crime investigators raid Mossack Fonseca

Panama crime investigators raid Mossack Fonseca

Panama crime investigators raid Mossack Fonseca

Written by Staff Writer

13 Apr, 2016 | 9:07 pm

Panamanian police have raided the headquarters of the law firm whose leaked documents unleashed a global scandal over how the rich and powerful use offshore companies to hide their wealth.

The Panama-based firm is the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm. It specialises in incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands.

Organised crime police surrounded Mossack Fonseca’s headquarters in Panama City on Tuesday as the offices were searched along with several other branches.

Prosecutors said the raids had taken place “with no incident or interference”, but gave no details on the results of the searches.

The fallout from the so-called Panama Papers, which law firm Mossack Fonseca claims were stolen when hackers from abroad breached its system, has spread around the world.

A year-long probe by a consortium of investigative journalists examined the papers, which came from around 214,000 offshore entities and covered almost 40 years.

Panama’s attorney general ordered the raid on the Panamanian offices of Mossack Fonseca in an attempt to “establish the use of the firm for illicit activities”.

Mossack Fonseca has denied any wrongdoing, saying it only set up offshore financial accounts and anonymous shell companies for clients and was not involved in how those accounts were used.

Panama’s President, Juan Carlos Varela, has defended the country’s financial sector, which is considered vital to the country’s economy. But Varela has also promised the international community that he is willing to make reforms to make the sector more transparent.

Meanwhile Panama warned France of unspecified “diplomatic measures” if it doesn’t drop it from a blacklist of tax havens in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations.

A report compilled by the Global Financial Intergrity organization, titled the ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries from 2004-2013’ says that 2.88 trillion ruppees had left country during the ten years.

The tax on this figure amounts to a staggering 960 billion Sri Lankan rupees, lost by the State as uncollected tax revenue.

Read More about Panama Papers : http://newsfirst.lk/english/2016/04/panama-papers-and-the-gfi-report-will-the-sl-govt-investigate/133456

 

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