Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Panama Papers reveal 1,245 Colombians have accounts in tax havens


More than 1,200 Colombians appeared in The Panama Papers Monday when the investigate journalism project released the full record of Panamanian law company Mossack Fonseca, which has been accused of aiding tax evasion.

Among the The 1,245 Colombians on the list of tax haven account owners are prominent politicians, sports heroes, TV stars and members of the business elite.

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After an earlier batch of names was released, Colombia’s Prosecutor General announced to investigate roughly all 850 people and firms leaked by “John Doe” to a German paper.

Panama has been on Colombia’s tax haven blacklist since 2014 after failing to agree to more transparency on Colombians’ assets abroad among suspicion the country is used for tax evasion and money laundering.

The who’s who of Colombia’s tax-avoiding elite

The Prosecutor General’s Office did not immediately say whether it would investigate the 350 new names that were made public on Monday.

While the full extent of their involvement remains to be seen, Juan Ricardo Ortega, Colombia’s former tax chief, has estimated that the country’s elite have $100 billion stashed in offshore accounts, equivalent to more than a quarter of the country’s entire GDP.

Colombia’s elite hiding more than a quarter of country’s GDP in tax havens

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Elsewhere in the world, heads having been rolling. David Cameron and Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the current and former Prime Ministers of the UK and Iceland respectively, have paid high political prices for their lack of initiative when their names were implicated.

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