Panama Papers: Argentina President Mauricio Macri Denied Wrongdoings in Connection to the Offshore Company Linked to Him
The biggest documents leak in history, called the "Panama Papers", links many high-profile individuals as well as political figures to offshore money trails. One of the name listed in the documents is Argentinian president Mauricio Macri. However, the President has denied any wrongdoing in his connection with the offshore company from which the documents were obtained.
The 3 terabytes documents, consisting more than 11 million documents including emails, transaction, and papers, were obtained from an internal database from a law firm in Panama, Mossack Fonseca. The documents listed tens of thousands high-profile individuals, including president Mauricio Macri among other political figures. The documents suggest that those names are clients that have took advantage of Panama as an offshore haven.
There are many reasons people would take their money offshore. Some reasons are not against any law, but some reasons are illegal, such as money laundering, dodging sanctions, or supporting other criminal activities such as drug dealing. President Mauricio Macri, whose name is listed as director of an offshore company Fleg Trading Ltd, has stated that he is not involved in any wrongdoings in regard of the company's existence.
According to Reuters, President Macri has explained his role at the offshore company in a television interview with La Voz to answer demands from opposition lawmakers. President Macri revealed that his father, Franco Macri, had founded the company through a "legal operation". Franco Macri is a business tycoon and one of the richest men in Argentina.
In the interview, President Macri elaborated, "It was an offshore company to invest in Brazil, an investment that ultimately wasn't completed, and where I was director. There is nothing strange about this." According to the documents, Fleg Trading Ltd was registered in Panama, founded in 1998 and dissolved in early 2009.
Buenos Aires Herald reported that President Macri was accused for failing to declare his ties to the firm. He was supposed to report his ties to the firm while serving as Buenos Aires City mayor. He did, however, report accounts abroad in 2007 and 2008.
A statement from the Macri administration revealed that the president never personally owned shares in the ghost company, as reported by teleSUR. However, he did play an occasional role as CEO. The statement claimed that Macri never reported the company because he was never an active stakeholder. However, the statement did not directly address the use of offshore tax havens tied to Macri's family.
Argentinian president Mauricio Macri has denied any wrongdoings in his connection to a Panama-registered offshore company, in which he was listed as director. The statement was a response to leaked documents obtained from a law firm in Panama, which linked many high-profile and powerful individuals to offshore money trails.