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More Financial Openness Needed Between Ireland And Isle Of Man, Says Celtic League Head

Robert Lee, Tax-news.com, London

11 December 2000


Last week Tax-news.com reported that the influential Public Accounts Committee of the Irish Parliament (the Dail) is to probe the "quite amazing amount of money" held by Irish banks and institutions on the Isle of Man. The amounts are thought to total between £3 and £4 billion and in a major attempt to crack down on tax evasion, the Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Jim Mitchell, has called for jail sentences for "white collar crime". According to the Isle of Man On-line news service, the head of the Celtic League agrees that something should be done and has called for more openness about financial transactions between the Isle of Man, Ireland and other finance centres.

Secretary General of the League, Bernard Moffatt, is reported as saying that said that an investigation by the Irish parliament into the amount of money held by Irish banks and in the Isle of Man would open a new chapter on ongoing inquiries into tax evasion in Ireland. In a statement, the League said: 'It appears that this latest Irish initiative will peel away some of the veils of secrecy that surround our finance centre.'

Mr Moffatt said the investigation comes just months after allegations of the laundering of public funds from the Russian federation via the Isle of Man.

Mr Moffatt added: 'The new allegations also come hard on the heels of assurances by the Manx government about the legitimacy of business transacted here.'

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