Panama Papers: Offices of Mossack Fonseca in El Salvador stormed

Mossack Fonseca staff had removed the company sign from the office, officials said
Mossack Fonseca staff had removed the company sign from the office, officials said

Authorities in El Salvador have raided the offices of the Panama law firm at the centre of a massive data leak, the attorney general’s office says.

Documents and computer equipment were seized from the Mossack Fonseca office, officials said on Twitter.

The attorney general’s office said the Mossack Fonseca sign had been removed a day earlier and quoted an employee as saying the firm was moving.

The leak showed how some wealthy people use offshore companies to evade tax.

The raid was overseen by El Salvador’s Attorney General Douglas Melendez.

Mossack Fonseca’s El Salvador branch was able to provide “back office” functions for the firm’s clients all over the world, according to a document posted on Twitterby the attorney general’s office.

Local news website El Faro reported (in Spanish) that Salvadoreans had used Mossack Fonseca to buy property in the country without declaring the purchases to the Salvadorean authorities.

The firm has denied it has done anything wrong and says the information is being presented out of context.

Investigators seized documents and computer equipment
Investigators seized documents and computer equipment

Elsewhere:

  • An investigation has begun in Argentina after it transpired President Mauricio Macri was mentioned in the Panama Papers
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron is accused of “hypocrisy” by the opposition Labour Party after he said he had owned shares in an offshore fund set up by his late father
  • Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office says it is investigating 16 people, including current and former politicians and well-known business people, whose names appeared in the papers
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin denies having any links to offshore accounts, despite not being named directly in the papers, and claimed the leak was part of a US-led plot to weaken Russia
  • A number of Congo-Brazzaville officials close to the country’s president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, are linked to offshore firms trading in Congolese oil, France’sLe Monde reports
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