In 2016 a group of journalists exposed a series of documents from the firm Mossack & Fonseca disclosing a number of irregularities of various celebrities in the world in tax havens, which was called the Panama Papers.
However, what was known to date as the largest tax information leak in history found a competitor a few weeks ago.
Again, the International Investigative Journalism Consortium (ICIJ)[Click here], made up of 382 journalists from almost 100 media outlets around the world, revealed a new massive leak of documents called "The Paradise Papers", where 127 international leaders and an unspecified number of world celebrities, musicians, athletes and multinational companies have been involved in the so-called "secretive countries".
The Spanish newspapers La Sexta and El Confidencial reported that the documents leak come from the law firm Appleby and Asiatici Trust, received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, from 19 jurisdictions that appear in the list of tax havens of the OECD.
The 13 million documents from the "secretive countries" (Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman, Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Labuan, Lebanon, Malta, Marshall Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Vicente, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu), include names such as the queens Isabel II of England or Noor of Jordan.
The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture of Brazil, Henrique de Campos Meirelles and Blairo Borges Maggi, respectively; the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder; and Stephen Bronfman, friend and fundraiser of the election campaign of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are also among the people investigated.
The list includes the most renowned artists linked in this case, such as U2 singer Bono, and the Colombian singer, Shakira.
Panama on the Paradise Papers list?
Panama, aside from the Mossack & Fonseca law firm leakage, is not excluded from being mentioned as a tax haven. However, the cases have not been as notorious as in other countries.
One of the most famous cases was the one published by the newspaper El Confidencial, where the family of a Lower House of Spain deputy changed the tax residence of the Varma SA trading company, one of the main distributors of alcoholic beverages in Spain, from Malta to Panama so that tax payments would be reduced considerably.
Another case that has linked to the isthmus with the filtration of the Paradise Papers was published by the Italian weekly L’Espresso, where the Mexican religious association the Legionaries of Christ used tax havens to manage the entries of their educational service in the time of the founder Marcial Maciel, according to the filtering of documents “Papeles Paraíso”.