PanamaPapers on offshore accounts – Reactions from various countries

Offshore account details of many global leaders come tumbling out, invoking outrage

As details of offshore accounts of world leaders emerge, there is outrage
Panama, where Mossack Fonseca is based. Photograph: DreamPictures/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

As the news of tax havens spreads around the world, there is frenzied activities in some countries. As of 8AM PDT, here are some reactions:

  • Pakistan – Hussain Nawaz Sharif, the son of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, plus one of three siblings shown to own real estate through offshore entities, says “there is nothing wrong with it”.

  • United Kingdom – The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom says it’s received “a great deal of information on offshore companies” as it investigates – it is also inquiring the ICIJ to share all its data. This could prove to be interesting as a majority of tax havens were British territories and there is still an umbilical cord like relationship. According to The Guardian, the fund run by David Cameron’s father avoided paying tax in Britain.

  • Austria – The financial markets regulator in Austria says it is investigating whether rules were violated by two banks on money laundering after being identified in the leaks.

  • France – France’s finance ministry says it is seeking the original documents in the leak for it to carry out its investigation.

  • Australia – Australia’s tax office says it is investigating 800 individuals named in the leaks.

  • Azerbaijan – A spokesman for Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, whose kids are named as owners of offshore firms, says such practice “is not banned by any law”, adding that they “are grown up Azerbaijani citizens”.

  • Russia – Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, says signs was “concocted” and Mr Putin is the objective of “disinformation”. Though Putin’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage. The documents suggest Putin’s family has benefited from this money – his friends’ fortunes appear his to spend.

  • China – China appears to be censoring social media posts on the document leak, which has named several members of the country’s elite. Mentioned are the brother-in-law of China’s President Xi Jinping, Deng Jiagui.

  • Iceland – Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, is also shown to have had an undeclared interest linked to his wife’s wealth. By Monday morning, 16,000 people in Iceland had signed a petition demanding his resignation, and a large protest was expected in Reykjavik later. Mr Gunnlaugsson has gone on Television and has ruled out stepping down.

  • India – Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley says those who did not take advantage of an amnesty last year to declare illegal assets abroad will find “such adventurism extremely costly”, according to the news agency Press Trust of India. He said global initiatives to deal with unaccounted wealth abroad would be in place by next year. More than 500 Indians have been linked to tax havens revealed by the leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, according to one report.

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