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UK Provides Update On Panama Paper Inquiries

by Robert Lee,, London

09 November 2016

More than 30 individuals and companies are under active investigation for criminal or serious civil offenses linked to tax fraud and financial wrongdoing uncovered by the Panama Papers, with hundreds more under detailed review, the UK Government has said.

In an update on the work of the Panama Papers Taskforce, published on November 8, it was reported that the Taskforce has:

  • opened civil and criminal investigations into 22 individuals for suspected tax evasion;
  • led the international acquisition of high-quality, significant, and credible data on offshore activity in Panama – ensuring the important work of the Taskforce was not delayed by the ICIJ's refusal to release all of the information that it holds to any tax authority or law enforcement agency;
  • identified a number of leads relevant to a major insider-trading operation led by the Financial Conduct Authority and supported by the National Crime Agency;
  • identified nine potential professional enablers of economic crime – all of whom have links with known criminals;
  • placed 43 high net worth individuals under special review while their links to Panama are further investigated;
  • identified two new UK properties and a number of companies relevant to a National Crime Agency financial sanctions inquiry;
  • established links to eight active Serious Fraud Office investigations;
  • identified 26 offshore companies whose beneficial ownership of UK property was previously concealed, and whose financial activity has been identified to the National Crime Agency as potentially suspicious;
  • contacted 64 firms to determine their links with Mossack Fonseca, the firm whose data was leaked, to establish potential further avenues for investigation by the Taskforce; and
  • seen individuals coming forward to settle their affairs in advance of Taskforce partners taking action.

HMRC's Director General for Customer Compliance, Jennie Granger, said: "The Taskforce is leading the world on the acquisition and analysis of data that has enabled us to uncover and take swift action on evidence of wrongdoing – regardless of how deeply hidden the arrangements are. It will also enable us to identify those jurisdictions where regulatory oversight requires improvement."

TAGS: individuals | tax | law | United Kingdom | enforcement | tax authority | offshore | Panama | Compliance

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