‘Panama Papers’ Under Lens of The US Justice Department

By Staff Writer

Apr 06, 2016 04:51 AM EDT

The US Justice Department has announced on Monday reviewing international media outlets published documents in search of evidence for corruption prosecutable in the US. French prosecutors have also confirmed initiating investigation to find out involvement of any French national or financial institute in dodging tax using Panama.

The leaked 'Panama Papers' include thousands of internal documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents detail allegations against 140 public figures, executives and celebrities around the globe for offshore holdings. The reports have been published on late Sunday, according to news published in the Wall Street Journal.

All credible allegations of high level foreign corruption with possible link to the US or the US financial system are considered very seriously by the Justice Department, cites Peter Carr, spokesman for the Justice Department's criminal division. The journalist who obtained the leaked documents haven't shared the documents with the Justice Department or any other authorities, reports Reuters quoting Peter Bale, chief executive of an organization coordinating the investigation. His organization involves more than 100 media outlets around the world.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published the leaked documents from Panama based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The firm specializes on creating offshore accounts. The persons involved in the tax dodging system include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Other dignitaries include relatives of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Iceland's Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif, according to a report published in Yahoo Finance.

Mossac Fonseca has denied any wrongdoing while operating beyond approach in its home country and in other jurisdictions with operations. Offshore accounts may be used for a wide range of legitimate purposes including consolidation of assets, making foreign investments or planning an estate.

The Justice Department has rendered proactive services in seizure of assets allegedly purchased by officials of foreign governments using corrupt funds. The department has returned more than $1.1 million to South Korea, confiscating funds linked to California Real Estate and other investments by the son of a former South Korean president convicted of accepting bribes.

The leaked documents suggest foreign political figures or their relatives holding millions of dollars in real estate in cities including London and Miami. The documents also indicate involvement of the Panamanian firm with more than two dozen companies blacklisted by the US prior to the sanctions got effective.

Offshore accounts are generally maintained for a wide range of legitimate purposes including consolidation of assets, making foreign investments or planning an estate. Leaked 'Panama Papers' narrate tax-dodging system through offshore accounts used by politicians, executives and celebrities across the globe. The US Department of Justice has vowed investigating possible violation of Federal laws.  

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