Pandora Papers: Piñera denies participation in the sale of the Dominga mining megaproject in a tax haven

Pandora Papers: Piñera denies participation in the sale of the Dominga mining megaproject in a tax haven

The President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, Sebastián Piñera, denied this Sunday having “participated or had any information regarding the sale process” of the Dominga mining megaproject, an operation for which he was singled out for evasion in the recent investigation Pandora Papers.

“It is reiterated that the President of the Republic has not participated in the administration of any company for more than 12 years, before assuming his first presidency”said a statement from his office.

The latest investigation from International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) points to the family Pinera Morel was the largest shareholder in the controversial mining project Dominga, who sold to his friend and businessman Carlos Alberto Délano in an operation that partially occurred in the British Virgin Islands.

“The aforementioned events were already investigated by the Public Ministry and the Courts of Justice during 2017 and the Prosecutor’s Office recommended ending the case due to the lack of crime (…) and the lack of participation of the president”, wielded the presidential office.

According to the statement, neither the president nor his family now own investment companies incorporated abroad, although in the past they did own companies domiciled in Chile that “were shareholders of companies abroad.”

“The existence and its participation in these companies was reported from the beginning to the regulatory authorities, fully complying with the law and paying each and every one of the taxes that for said investments were required in Chile”, They added from La Moneda, the presidential headquarters.

According to the ICIJ, Piñera and his family were the main shareholders of Dominga until 2010, when the president had been in power for nine months for his first non-consecutive term (2010-2014) and the sale of all the company’s shares took place. to Délano for 152 million dollars.

A part of the transaction was sealed with a document signed in Chile for 14 million dollars and another in the British Virgin Islands for 138 million dollars, according to Ciper, the Chilean media that collaborated in the investigation with the consortium.

In the tax haven, a contract was signed that established a payment in three installments and, in order to comply with the last one, there had to be no regulatory changes that would hinder the installation of the mine and its port.

The Dominga mining megaproject, located in the north-central part of the country, was approved last August by an environmental commission and the support of ten regional ministerial secretaries, after being rejected in 2017 by the government of former socialist president Michelle Bachelet and by an environmental court.

Following a complaint from the company responsible for the project, Andes Iron gave the green light to the criticized initiative, which seeks to build an iron and copper mine that will produce more than 150,000 tons of minerals.

Pinera, who has one of the largest fortunes in the country and will leave power in March 2022, is one of the three active Latin American presidents dotted by this investigation, which has once again shaken the world after the Panama Papers of 2016.

The investigation also points to Ecuadorian President Guillermo Laso and Dominican Luis Abinader, in addition to 11 other former Latin American heads of government and countless political authorities from around the world who hid millionaire fortunes to avoid paying taxes.

The “Pandora Papers”Had the participation of 150 media from around the world and 600 journalists who have examined 1.9 million documents.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.