by Sasha Chavkin
Governments around the world are swinging into action in response to the Paradise Papers, launching investigations, audits and issuing the first arrest warrants stemming from the investigation’s findings.
A prosecutor in Argentina called for the arrest of four officials at a public university for their roles in an alleged money laundering scheme involving mining operations linked to commodities trader Glencore.
The warrant in Argentina was one of several government actions in Latin America, in addition to official responses in countries in Europe and Asia:
- Argentina: A prosecutor in the Argentine province of Tucuman issued arrest warrants for four officials at the University of Tucuman, in connection to an alleged money laundering scheme connected to mining company La Alumbrera. La Alumbrera was linked to offshore companies belonging to Swiss commodities giant Glencore that were used to reduce taxes on mineral resources extracted from Argentina.
- Chile: Two government agencies announced investigations into Paradise Papers revelations. Tax authorities have pledged to investigate Chilean companies that appear in the leaked files, and the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications said that it had contacted tax officials to contribute to an ongoing audit of Alsacia-Express, a major operator of public buses that had conducted business offshore in Bermuda.
- Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos publicly released personal financial statements for years 2015 and 2016 after he was linked to two offshore companies in Barbados.
- Bermuda: The former head of government, Michael Dunkley, predicted that Appleby would not survive after the Paradise Papers. “Sadly because of how badly they handled the hack I suggest that they will not be a viable entity going forward,” Dunkley wrote in a Facebook post. “This is also a reputation issue for Bermuda.”
- Netherlands: The Dutch tax minister said the government would re-examine 4,000 advance tax rulings reached between the Netherlands and foreign companies. These agreements came under fire after the revelation that a tax ruling issued on behalf of the American consumer goods company Procter & Gamble failed to follow regulations.
- Singapore: The central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said it would review the Paradise Papers and “take action against any financial institution or individual who breaches our regulations.”
- Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “satisfied” by the assurances by his longtime friend and top Liberal Party fundraiser, Stephen Bronfman, that he had not broken any laws in his dealings with offshore trusts. Opposition leaders fired back that “Canadians are not satisfied” and called for further investigation.
Originally published on Revealnews.org
Photo: Appleby's Bermuda office Courtesy: Revealnews.org