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The Danish tax authority has confirmed that it paid just over EUR800,000 (USD900,000) for access to information in the Panama Papers linked to Danish citizens.
Jim Soerensen, a senior official with the Danish Tax and Customs Authority, SKAT, made the disclosure on September 29. He said that the payment was authorized by the Danish Government after inspection of an initial sample of the information, which showed that the full tranche of documents relating to Denmark could uncover hundreds of cases of tax evasion.
The revelation comes after Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen announced in a statement on September 7 that the tax agency had been given permission to acquire the "Panama Papers" data following "broad political support" for the move.
Because of the "serious nature and large scale" of the Panama Papers leak, Lauritzen said he agreed with the political decision that "procurement of information in this case is necessary."
The Panama Papers leak concerns more than 11.5m internal documents belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The data includes emails, financial spreadsheets, passports, and corporate records relating to the ownership of bank accounts and companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. It covers a nearly 40-year period, through to the end of 2015.
Tax authorities in several countries have launched investigations on the basis of the information contained in the documents, which were passed by an anonymous source to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists earlier this year. However, Denmark appears to be the only country to have confirmed that it has paid for access to the material.
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