The pandora papers, the leak of millions of documents on extraterritorial companies, caused this Monday the rejection of the lawyers’ union and harsh criticism from a former head of the tax office of Panama, where the law firm that stands out in the report of the International Consortium of Panama is from. Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The president of the National Bar Association (CNA) of Panama, Juan Carlos Araúz, said this Monday that this union cannot allow “Let the legal services rendered be demonized” by the country’s firms, and censored “the illicit character “ With which “Communications from lawyers and clients are aired through the media and they intend to supplant institutional channels.”
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In a press conference, Araúz defended that public limited companies “They are legitimate services that from Panama have helped world trade”, and noted that this nation “It is not a tool for the control of any country, but it is not a participant in any irregular conduct ”.
The Panamanian law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo y Lee (Alcogal) is one of the main protagonists of Pandora’s papers. According to him ICIJ, from this come “more than two million ” of the total of 11.9 million confidential records of law firms and offshore service providers compiled in the report.
“In total, almost half of the politicians whose names appear” in the Pandora papers “they were linked to Alcogal “, that “Acted as a corporate intermediary for more than 160 politicians and public officials, records show,” He said ICIJ.
Alcogal qualified Sunday as “Conjectures, inaccuracies and falsehoods“The report of the ICIJ, to the point that “In some cases, the people mentioned were never clients” his, and defended that for 35 years he has “been subject to supervision by regulatory entities in different jurisdictions with flawless results ”.
The person in charge of investigating tax evaders in Colombia appears in the Pandora Papers
Publio Cortés, who was head of the Panamanian tax office during the Government of Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), denounced in a public letter that “an influential sector with a conflict of interest of the elite of Panama” has been “Success in delaying the inevitable compliance with international standards of fiscal transparency and the fight against money laundering” in the country.
That “Panama’s conflict with the international community, which has lasted for more than two decades (is) causing very serious damage to reputation and to the country brand”, said Cortés, a lawyer specializing in tax matters.
“Can it have any kind of logic that our little Panama ‘declares war’ on the G-20 (…) leaving the country’s prestige on the floor, to defend the business of corporate opacity (NOC), whose contribution Panama’s GDP is less than 1%, according to official figures based on their own income tax returns? ”, expressed the former head of the Panamanian tax collecting office.
Panama is included in several international lists of countries with deficiencies in the fight against money laundering, despite the country’s efforts to improve its fiscal scaffolding.
THE OFFICE OFFERS “CRIMINAL COOPERATION” TO OTHER COUNTRIES
The Public Ministry (MP, Prosecutor’s Office) reported this Monday that it is “analyzing“The content of Pandora’s papers “To verify whether there is a basis for the initiation of a criminal investigation.”
The Panamanian Prosecutor’s Office added that “It will offer the international criminal cooperation required by other States and jurisdictions mentioned above, to effectively combat all forms of commission of crimes.”
Already on Sunday the Government of Panama said that the entities and subjects mentioned in the Pandora Papers will be supervised, and assured that it works determined “to counteract the negative repercussions of any tangential or conjunctural scandal in which they want to involve the country ”.
Panama Still Suffering Damage To Its Reputation From The Panama Papers, Pioneering Investigation Of The ICIJ. This leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in April 2016 revealed that personalities from around the world hired the services of that firm, now defunct, to create offshore companies allegedly to evade taxes.
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