courtesy pixabay- 2

Third Round of Panama Papers Coverage

The alleged fraudsters behind a Kenyan pyramid scheme (and their lawyers) are named in the Panama papers.

The Panama Papers have not only embarrassed Chinese leaders, they’ve also posed a red-hot challenge to the Chinese anti-corruption campaign because they fuel perceptions that the campaign is full of double standards and is a veiled political purge. According to the Economist, China was Mossack Fonseca’s biggest market.

One of the challenges in prosecuting those revealed by the Panama papers to have broken the law is that many documents will still be covered by attorney client privilege. They may be publicly leaked, but courts will be reluctant to accept them as evidence without a waiver of privilege by the clients. This article discusses some of the ethical complexities and tactics used to avoid ‘tainted’ evidence.

UEFA gets raided after Panama papers revelations.

Fiercely competitive news outlets had to check their egos at the door in order to collaborate in poring through the Panama papers. The article goes on to discuss the story behind the story of the Panama papers.

As this article points out, Mossack Fonseca is only the 4th or 5th largest offshoring law firm in the world. What would happen if the largest firms’ papers were leaked: how many world and business leaders would have their hidden wealth exposed?

Guinea’s corruption deal of the century is further unravelled by the Panama papers.

I’m glad to see others agree with me that the money laundering and corruption thriving in offshore havens could not happen without ‘professional enablers‘ in a thinly regulated legal profession. The article also suggests reasons why UK-ruled jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands are havens for crooks:-

  • The ability to buy UK property anonymously through foreign companies.
  • The UK’s Overseas Territories offering secretive company ownership.
  • Lack of powers for law enforcement to seize stolen assets.
  • Role of UK based accountants, lawyers, estate agents and other “professional enablers” in making it easy for corrupt individuals to hide their cash.
  • An anti-money laundering system that is easy to bypass in order to launder money with impunity.

For those who enjoy eye candy, the Panama papers- at least the publicly available ones- have now been visually and interactively mapped.

 

The Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, announced a panel of experts over the Panama papers scandal. The stated goal is to help improve transparency in the offshore financial industry. The paradox is that people usually offshore their assets to repress rather than promote transparency.

An interview with some of those involved in the Panama papers.

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