Daily Archives: April 9, 2016

Interview Survey Reporter: Wang Wang Qishan Panama file corruption has become an important clue

Voice of America website (translated n English):

Reporter survey by the International Union (ICIJ) the gradual exposure of the “Panama file” issue again hidden wealth of Chinese nomenklatura presented in front of the world. Including Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, including at least eight current and former CPC CPC top leaders named their families were exposed in overseas “tax havens” control the secretive offshore companies. China blocked related news, also accused the US government to discredit China’s information warfare.China is responsible for the project part of the ICIJ member Olay Shan (Alexa Olesen) April 8 via Skype accepted the VOA interview, some questions on the document outside of Panama and she wrote about the Chinese part of the lengthy report answered reporters questions.

Reporter: The international investigative reporter Union ( ICIJ) is a what kind of organization?

Olay Shan: ICIJ is an independent organization headquartered in the US capital Washington. Funding of this organization from the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundation and other independent funders.There are 65 countries from more than 200 investigative reporter is a member of the ICIJ.

Reporter: There is Russia and China and other countries a voice that ICIJ exposure Panama file out of a US plot to discredit the interests of these countries. How do you respond to these questions?

Olay Shan: For you mentioned the so-called conspiracy theory, I think it is because when ICIJ began to open these files, people found that not many Americans are named. But there is a reason, because Mosak von Seca companies themselves say they are not inclined to accept American customers. The company’s business model is mainly for Europe, Latin America, there are more and more to Asia. So, many Americans do not appear in the report because Mosak · Fonseca did not much American customers. Of course, none of this conspiracy. At first, some files were leaked to the “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” and then “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” turn these documents share the ICIJ. We believe that these documents have a common value for all people, so we decided to report them out.

Reporter: The Chinese party media, “People’s Daily” ‘s “Global Times” April 5 published an article entitled “stolen or made” Panama file “by no means ordinary,” the editorial. This was later deleted comments alleged “Panama file” is “Western intelligence agencies,” Putin used against such “non-Western leaders of” means of maintaining Western ideology. How do you respond?

Olay Shan: This criticism is nonsense. Because if you look at our report, you will find it is actually very fair. Not only does it allow Russia and China feel embarrassed, but also to the United Kingdom, Iceland, the United States was embarrassed, so many of the world governments, individuals and politicians feel embarrassed. Thus, the reported accusations against Russia and China are unfounded.

David Cameron Faces Calls to Resign After Finally Admitting He Had Shares in Offshore Fund

After a week in which he has been forced into making daily public statements, British Prime Minister David Cameron finally admitted in a TV interview on Thursday that he once had a stake in his late father’s offshore trust, which was named in the Panama Papers.

Opposition politicians immediately called on him to resign for being “less than honest” with the British people, and demanded he publish full details of his tax arrangements immediately. The topic #ResignCameron was trending on Twitter on Friday morning.

Cameron told ITV News that he had owned shares in the Panamanian trust, Blairmore Holdings, but had sold them in 2010, before becoming prime minister.

“We owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust, which we sold in January 2010. That was worth something like £30,000,” he told the television channel.

“I paid income tax on the dividends. There was a profit on it but it was less than the capital gains tax allowance so I didn’t pay capital gains tax,” Cameron said.

Cameron was expected to publish his tax returns as soon as possible, said Sky News.

Read on.

The Latest: El Salvador raids offices in Panama Papers case

LONDON — The Latest on the publication by a coalition of media outlets of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous (all times local):

12:40 a.m.

Police in El Salvador have raided the local offices of the Panama-based company targeted in a data leak known as “the Panama Papers.”

Prosecutors said Friday they were looking for evidence of Salvadoran citizens who opened accounts through the Mossack Fonseca law firm.

The data leak revealed the ties of rich and influential people around the world to secretive financial accounts and shell companies in low-tax havens used to hide wealth.

El Salvador’s head prosecutor said officials decided to act after hearing that the company’s sign was being taken down from the offices Thursday night. Douglas Melendez said prosecutors found “few documents” during the raid.

Melendez said “we have found a lot of computers and servers,” and about a half-dozen employees, who are being questioned.

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7:12 p.m.

French president Francois Hollande has spoken with his Panamanian counterpart Juan Carlos Varela to explain why his country was put back on a list of non-cooperative countries.

The president’s press office said in a statement that Hollande also encouraged Panama to answer requests for information issued by French tax authorities.

Hollande confirmed that France has convened a meeting of OECD experts to be held next week to explore possibilities of cooperation between fiscal administrations in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers revelations.

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Read on.

Panama Papers: 1,000 secret Nevada firms, 2 overseas addresses

A USA TODAY analysis of more than 1,000 American-based companies registered by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers leak, casts the United States openly into an uncomfortable role: an offshore haven of corporate secrecy for wealthy business operations across the globe.

The analysis found that both Nevada and Wyoming have become secretive havens much like Bermuda and Switzerland have long been. And at least 150 companies set up by Mossack Fonseca in those states have ties to major corruption scandals in Brazil and Argentina.

The corporate records of 1,000-plus Nevada business entities linked to the Panamanian law firm reveal layers of secretive ownership, with few having humans’ names behind them, and most tracing back to a tiny number of overseas addresses from Bangkok high rises to post offices on tiny island nations. Only 100 of the Nevada-born corporations have officers with addresses in this country: 90 in Nevada, nine in Florida and one in Delaware.

The financial records show more than 600 of the companies’ corporate officers are listed at one of just two addresses in the world, one in Panama and the other Seychelles, a small Indian Ocean archipelago. The addresses, in both countries, are the same as Mossack Fonseca’s headquarters.

Read on.

Thailand investigates 16 people on Panama Papers list

Thailand is investigating 16 people, including current and former politicians and well-known business people, whose names appeared in the “Panama Papers”, a top official at the country’s Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said on Friday.

The individuals are among scores of politicians and business figures worldwide who feature in the massive document leak from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specializes in establishing offshore companies.

The investigation into possible money laundering is at an early stage and Thai authorities have so far found no evidence of wrongdoing, AMLO acting Secretary-General Seehanat Prayoonrat told reporters on Friday.

Read on.

Nightly Business Report: Nevada and Wyoming are the biggest two states of U.S. tax haven

US Tax Haven

Watch Friday’s segment of Nightly Business Report. Tax havens are not just overseas. Nevada and Wyoming are the biggest states that are U.S. tax havens. And those two states have direct ties to the Monsack and Fonseca firm that is involved in the Panama papers tax haven scandal. Reuters did an expose in June 2011 on how lax US incorporation practices.  From Global Financial Integrity website:

CHEYENNE/ATLANTA – An investigative piece published by Reuters today, “A little house of secrets on the Great Plains” looks at the lax incorporation requirements of US states with a focus on Wyoming Corporate Services, “a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as ‘shell’ companies, paper entities able to hide assets.” The “little house” in this case, is a 1,700-square-foot brick house in holds more than 2,000 registered companies.

No states license mass incorporators, and only a few require them to formally register with state authorities. None collect the names and addresses of “beneficial owners,” the individuals with a controlling interest in corporations, according to a 2009 report by the National Association of Secretaries of State, a group for state officials overseeing incorporation. Wyoming and Nevada allow the real owners of corporations to hide behind “nominee” officers and directors with no direct role in the business, often executives of the mass incorporator.

New York Attorney General pushes FHFA for principal reduction

It turns out that the housing rights protestors that interrupted a lecture earlier this week at Harvard from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt aren’t the only ones pushing the FHFA to engage in principal reduction.

In a letter sent this week to Watt, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joins the chorus calling for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the mortgage balances of struggling borrowers.

In Schneiderman’s letter, a copy of which was obtained by HousingWire, New York’s attorney general says that he is “pleased” that the FHFA is now “seriously evaluating” adopting a principal reduction plan, and advocates that principal reduction “should be deployed broadly and quickly to homeowners in desperate need of this relief from the continuing damage caused by the housing crisis.”

According to Watt, the FHFA is still considering a principal reduction plan, despite reports to the contrary.

Read on.