PANAMA PAPERS: WHICH HEADS OF STATE HID MONEY? AND HOW?
One hundred and 40 politicians from more than 50 countries were just connected to offshore companies in 21 tax heavens in data-leak known as the Panama Papers. The use of the Panama registered companies and “bearer shares” often suggest, at best, tax evasion, and at worst, money laundering.
Here’s a few heads of state connected to shell companies and shady deals:
1) Mauricio Macri, Argentine President (2015-present); Mayor of Buenos Aires (2007–2015).
· Unclaimed offshore company was related to family business.
2) Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia (2012–2013).
· British Virgin Island authorities were investigating his offshore company.
· Former journalist and radio personality who led a campaign against bank bailouts in 2008.
· He and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir, are officers of Wintris, Inc.
· Wintris held over $4 million in bonds in the three major Icelandic banks (the same banks Gunnlaugsson campaigned against). They collapsed in 08.
· It is unclear with his political positions hurt or benefited the value of the bonds held by Wintris.
· He failed to declare his ownership of Wintris and on the last day of 2009 sold his 50% share to his wife for only $1.
· Mossack noted in 2013 that Pálsdóttir was a so-called “politically exposed person,” but documents suggest the firm did nothing about it.
4) Ayad Allawi, Vice President of Iraq (2014–2015); PM of Iraq (2004–2005).
· Firms created in Panama held property in London. Possibly evading taxes.
5) Ali Abu al-Ragheb, PM of Jordan and Minister of Defense (2000–2003); senate member 2003–10.
· He was director of offshore companies in BVI, owned others in Seychelles, and the companies’ activities were never identified.
6) Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, PM of Qatar (2007–2013); Foreign Minister of Qat. (1992–2013).
· The billionaire sheikh, one of the world’s 100 most influential people for time magazine in 2012.
· Offshore company used to manage $300 million yacht.
7) Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former ruling emir of Qatar (1995–2013).
· In 2014, former emir acquired, Afrodille SA, would hold a bank account in Luxembourg and shares in two South African companies, according to the lawyer.
· From Sept 2013, Al Thani was also the majority shareholder of Rienne S.A. and Yalis S.A., which held a term deposit with the Bank of China in Luxembourg, according to the files.
· King Salman held an unspecific role in a Luxembourg company, Safason Corporation SPF SA.
i) Which was the shareholder of Verse Development Corporation, incorporated in the BVI in 1999.
ii) And Inrow Corporation, incorporated in 2002.
· Inrow took out a mortgage in 2009 worth up to $26 million
· And Verse took out a second mortgage worth more than $8 million, both of which were for luxury home in London.
9) Ahmad Ali al-Mirghani, Pres. of Sudan (1986–1989).
· Offshore company owned a London apartment.
10) Sheikh Khalifa Bni Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the UAE, emir of Abu Dhabi (2000-now).
· Sheikh Khalifa was the beneficial owner of at least 30 companies established in the BVIs by Mossack through which he held commercial and residential properties in pricey areas of London such as Kensington and Mayfair, worth at least $1.7 billion.
11) Pavlo Lazarenko, PM of Ukraine (1996–1997); energy minister (1995–1996).
· Offshore companies were subjects of multiple corruption investigations.
12) Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine (2014-now); economic development and trade minister 2012.
· Offshore firm holds assets including a European candy manufacturer.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (2012-Present); PM of Russia.
One of the biggest fishes in this barrel of shell corporations and back channel money deals, Putin’s best friend and famous cellist Sergey Roldugin is the face of a large secret network of Putin loyalists who have shuffled at least $2 billion. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, “In almost every instance, the result is the same: money and power moves in the direction of the network, to companies and people allied to Putin. The network’s covert deals allowed it to receive money in a variety of ways including hundreds of millions of dollars in sweetheart loans from a bank controlled by the Russian government.” Of course, there is only circumstantial evidence implicating Putin himself.
There are still documents to be released. American and Canadian individuals and companies have yet to be implicated. I doubt that’s because everyone there is squeaky clean. There’s plenty of content in the Panama Papers to digest. We just have to wait like a pack of hungry wolves.
Update: Emma Watson has been named in the Panama Papers.