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Panama Papers journalist killed

The murdered journalist

A JOURNALIST  who played a lead role in the Panama Papers investigation has been killed in a car bomb attack in Malta according to police.

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Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53,  a prominent blogger, was reportedly killed when the car she was driving exploded. She had accused the island’s government of corruption.

Local media say one of her sons heard the blast and rushed outside, reports the BBC

Prime Minister M Joseph Muscat, whom Caruana Galizia accused of wrongdoing earlier this year, denounced the killing.

“I condemn without reservations this barbaric attack on a person and on the freedom of expression in our country,” he said in a televised statement.

The Panama Papers Investigation team released files of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca,  revealing details of scores of thousands of offshore companies created to avoid taxes or launder money. The company’s founders are out on bail in Panama, awaiting trial




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$1.2million Panama Papers murder reward nixed


The sons of a Malta journalist who was murdered after linking the Maltese Prime Minister to “Panama Papers” revelations have refused to endorse a $1.2 million reward. for evidence leading to a conviction in the case.

The sons of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s say they are “not interested in justice without change”

Galizia’s three sons have called for the country’s prime minister to resign  after  she was killed by a car bomb near   her home on the Mediterranean Island on Monday, October 19

The slain journalist, dubbed by Politico as a “one-woman-Wikileaks”, was a polarising figure in Malta and a thorn in the side of many across the political spectrum. Local politicians as well as businessmen,  local and foreign, had found themselves targets of her reporting.


Candlelight vigil

Thousands turned out for a candlelight vigil after the killing and expressions of condolence continue to flood social media. in reaction to her death.

In her 20 or so years of reporting, she uncovered political corruption and thuggery, banks that allegedly facilitated money laundering, as well as links between Malta’s online gaming industry and the Mafia.

Mossack Fonseca
Over the past two years, Caruana Galizia had largely focused her attention on the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, revealing links to Maltese government politicians, most notably cabinet minister Konrad Mizzi reports Euronews

Her later claims that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s wife was the owner of a company in Panama which received vast payments from accounts in Azerbaijan had led to an early general election being called this year, which Muscat went on to win by a significant margin.

Pressure on sons
A Facebook post by Matthew Caruana Galizia, signed by his brothers Andrew and Paul, said they had faced “unrelenting pressure” from Malta’s leaders to “endorse” a million-euro reward

“A government and a police force that failed our mother in life will also fail her in death. The people who for as long as we can remember sought to silence our mother cannot now be the ones to deliver justice,” they said.

They took aim at Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and called for him to stand down. “Show political responsibility and resign. Resign for failing to uphold our fundamental freedoms,” they said.

The sons demanded he replace Malta’s police commissioner and attorney general “with public servants who won’t be afraid to act on evidence against him and those he protects”.


Malta mourns

After Caruana Galizia’s death, Muscat denounced the killing, calling it an attack “on the freedom of expression in our country”. Speaking to the BBC, he said the journalist was “a very harsh critic of mine” and described her killing as “a nightmare”.

Caruana Galizia’s popular blog had also targeted opposition politicians, calling the country’s political situation “desperate” in her final post says the BBC.



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10 arrested in Panama Papers linked murder

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POLICE  in Malta have arrested ten suspects in the murder of, a journalist who played a prominent role in the Panama Papers investigation.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53,  exposed political and police corruption on the island and its links to the Panama revelations.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced eight of the arrests at a press conference on Monday,  when he said the detainees are being questioned on “reasonable suspicion” of involvement in the  October 16 car bombing of Caruana Galizia,  the Times of Malta reports.

The government subsequently tweeted that two more suspects were in police custody.

Police have 48 hours to interrogate the suspects and decide whether to prosecute.

Muscat said that all of the initial eight suspects are Maltese nationals and have criminal records or were known to the police, reports Malta Today online.

Caruana Galizia, was a “popular blogger who doggedly reported claims of corruption among leading politicians”, said Sky News.

Her car blew up after she left her home to go to her office. The Prime Minister who was one of her expose targets offered a $2 million reward for help in the investigation. Her sons rejected the offer.



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Panama Papers scandal firm closes doors around world

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Mossack Fonseca, the Panama law firm at the center of the Panama Papers revelations which reverberated around the world affecting political leaders sports and entertainment icons and thousands of businessmen is putting up the shutters in all of its offices.

Its founding partners remain under house arrest, and the company is still under investigation for alleged links to the Odebrecht bribery scandal.

The closure announcement was made on Wednesday, March 14.

TVN News reports that only 36  employees remain, of the 600 at work when the scandal broke.  They will be terminated this week and the offices will close by month’s end but will be accessible to investigating authorities.

Only 36 employees remain out of 600 who worked when the scandal broke and they will be terminated this week. The offices will remain accessible to the authorities.

The firm gained international notoriety  in April 2016, when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), published the  called “Panama Papers revealing  how the wealthy  hid profits and assets offshore to avoid tax

The investigation, which included a  leak of millions of Mossack Fonseca confidential documents led to the law firm being the target of investigations by the Public  Ministry, in spite of close connections to President Juan Carlos Varela.

It  was also implicated in Latin America’s  biggest corruption plot the Brazilian corruption plot “Lava Jato.”

The firm founded by Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora in 1977, specialized in asset management, tax, international structures and commercial law.

Mossack Fonseca offered its services in the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, Malta, Hong Kong, Cyprus, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, British Anguilla, Seychelles, Samoa, Nevada and Wyoming (United States).



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I'm surprised the firm survived this long. The global notoriety ensured that clients would leave and no new ones would come. 

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This video from Panama Today is a terrific interview with an enthusiastic investigative journalist in Panama who worked on this case. She provides a summary of what happened, the consequences, and where it's going from here.


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Very informative. As long as the 1% are in charge and the masses remain silent nothing will change. Unfortunately!

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Panama Papers spark EU tax evasion moves

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Two years after the Panama Papers scandal, drew the attention of the world to the Isthmus and a thriving- now disappeared – law firm with close ties to the ruling administration, the European Union (EU) and others are better prepared to face fraud and tax evasion.

The EU has adopted numerous new regulations responding to the journalistic investigation which highlighted the magnitude of activities in tax havens, says an EFE News agency report.

On April 3, 2016, the journalistic investigation resulting from the massive filtering of documents brought to light the activities of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, that created  214,000  opaque companies operating in 200 countries or territories, as well as the participation of more than 500 banks and 140 politicians and other public figures.


Protesters following rel;ease of Panama Papers

The interest, indignation and public pressure that was awakened has been kept alive in the heat of new scandals like the paradise papers and with the recent murders of two journalists who investigated cases of corruption: the Maltese Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Slovakian Jan Kuciak.

The EU decided in 2016 to intensify its efforts to tackle these practices and the European Commission (EC) put on the table several proposals that were added to others already presented: many have been approved with unusual speed, but others remain in the pipeline. Just three months after the scandal of the Panama papers the countries approved the directive Against the Evasion of Capital (ATAD), with rules to prevent companies from transferring their profits to countries where they would not be taxed or that escape taxes by reallocating assets or deducting interest on loans between companies.

It will come into force next year and its objective is to tackle some of the most frequent tricks among companies, which manage to evade between $50, billion and $70, billion a   year, according to a study by the European Parliament.

In July 2016 the Commission also proposed amending the anti-money laundering directive to oblige companies to reveal the identity of their owners in a register accessible to the authorities taxpayers and the public, and to the countries to verify the data.

Last month the most recent initiative was approved: a rule that will force the advisors’ prosecutors -consultants, banks or lawyers, among others- to inform the authorities when designing plans that can help evade.

Both rules should take effect in 2020. However, the most talked-about measure has been the creation of the first community list of fiscal paradises

The EU published it last December with 17 countries which have been reduced to seven after some have committed to change their legislation: American Samoa, Bahamas, Guam, Namibia, the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad, and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.

More than 50 troubled countries committed to making legislative changes



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Moving in on key Panama Papers suspects

Protesters following rel;ease of Panama Papers
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Mossack Fonseca the former Panama Law firm behind the Panama Papers scandal that sent tidal waves throughout the world’s financial centers, engulfing, politicians, sports and entertainment celebrities and tax dodgers at large, is back in the focus of organized crime investigators.

Panama’sSecond Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime on Tuesday, May 22  announced that  it has carried out search and seizure proceedings, and is  investigating 10 accused, charged with alleged money laundering, as part of the investigation to establish the forensic  nexuses of Mossack Fonseca and the handling of money “of illicit origin” of Brazil.

A press release from the Public Prosecutor’s Office says that until now eight of the 10 accused have been located. “With the support of the security forces, we intend to find the whereabouts of the two accused who were not in their domicile, “says the official notice.

The investigation by The Second Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime under  Rómulo Bethancourt.is supported by the Office of the Brazilian  Federal  Prosecutor.

“The investigation is not directed against the professionals of the law nor at the good exercise of this profession. It is the elements gathered in the file that mark the line of our investigation. We act in accordance with the norm, without distinction of ethnicity, social position or profession to which those who act against the law are dedicated, “the entity said in its press release.

In the Mossack Fonseca-Lava Jato investigation, the central figures are Jürguen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora, founders of the law firm; as well as Edison Teano, a collaborator of the law firm, and María Mercedes Riaño, who was in charge of the company in Brazil.



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11 in laundering probe

Mossack Fonseca, center of Panama Papers scandal
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Eleven new people are being investigated by  Organized  Crime prosecutors for money laundering related to research of Mossack Fonseca, the now closed law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers revelations.

Prosecutors are following the management of money “of illicit origin” from Brazil, a case known as Lava Jato, which organized bribery and pay-offs for Odebrecht.

Attorney Guillermina McDonald said that most of the people are collaborators within the firm Mossack Fonseca, and they were appointed as directors in some societies.

“Then the persecution continues against the whole world despite the fact that Mossack Fonseca has already closed its operations. Now they have persecuted all those who have served as members of this firm as collaborators

The lawyer rejects the accusations of the prosecution and at the same time said  that the Republic of Brazil does not know the limited companies as regulated by “our legislation “and that has been changing as a result of international pressure”

The prosecution ordered last Tuesday the arrest of lawyers Carlos Sousa Lennox, Rubén Hernández, Katia Solano, Maribel Robles, Josette Roquebert, Ernesto González and Luis Martínez

The prosecution has not been able to locate Sara Montenegro and Sandra Cornejo; Meanwhile he lawyer Ramses Owens could not be investigated for as he is convalescent in his residence, after a recent surgical intervention.

All those named were charged for alleged money laundering



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Mossack Fonseca did not know most of his clients when the scandal uncovered

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 21:26

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The Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which two years ago led the Panama paper scandal, "had no idea" of the majority of the clients to whom it helped to create shell companies to, allegedly, evade taxes, according to new documents released today.

Thousands of new documents of the law firm published today by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) show that in most cases, Mossack Fonseca did not know the final beneficiaries of its services, including celebrities worldwide, oligarchs and criminals.

After the scandal became known in March 2016, which ended up causing the closure of the Panamanian law firm this year, the employees of the firm "began to work furiously on a new mission: to discover who their clients were," said the ICIJ.

"The new documents reveal that the firm was unable to identify tens of thousands of owners of companies that had registered in secretive low tax jurisdictions," according to the Consortium.

"Two months after the firm knew of the violation of its records, it still could not identify the owners of more than 70 percent of the 28,500 active companies in the British Virgin Islands (...) and did not know who the holder of 75 percent of the 10,500 active companies in Panama was, according to the records," it added.

The ICIJ assured that Mossack Fonseca, who for decades failed to compy with the rules that require lawyers specialized in creating offshore companies to identify and verify their clients to prevent criminal activities, changed its priority.

"Suddenly, the daily business of establishing fictitious companies in tax havens was no longer the priority" of the law firm, whose employees began sending "frantically emails to bankers, accountants and lawyers" who served as intermediaries with their wealthy clients to find out who were behind.

"The company's lack of knowledge about who benefited from shell companies it helped establish represented a significant risk" for the law firm founded by Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack, legally bound to know who their clients were.

"It should be unacceptable for a company like this to unknow the owner of a shell company, let alone thousands of them," US attorney Jack Blum, who specializes in tax fraud and money laundering, told ICIJ.

In an interview with the Consortium, Mossack Fonseca's lawyer, Guillermina McDonald, said this month that the firm considered its clients to be the lawyers, bankers and accountants who served as intermediaries, and not the end users.

This information is the result of a second leak of documents from Mossack Fonseca obtained by the ICIJ, just over two years after it opened the investigation of the so-called Panama papers and the ruin of the lawyers' company.

The publication of the papers hit personalities such as Argentine president Mauricio Macri; former British Prime Minister David Cameron; footballer Lionel Messi, members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or the then Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who had to resign because of the scandal.

The company, founded in 1977 and considered at the time a leading player in the creation of offshore companies, had more than a thousand employees in dozens of offices around the world, but ended up shutting down on March 31.



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India opens new Panama Papers probe

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The Indian Ministry of Finance of India announced an “immediate” investigation of new Panama Papers revelations  and said that an examination of the texts revealed in 2016 has revealed about 144 million euros of “secret investments abroad” ”

“The publication today ( June 21) in the media of the ‘Panama Papers’ will be investigated immediately by government agencies” under the command of a working group made up of several public agencies, the ministry said in a statement.

The Government will study the new leakage published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) “within a reasonable period of time,” the statement said.

The ministry said it has so far investigated 74 taxpayers linked to the first batch of documents released in March 2016, detecting investments abroad without declaring worth about 11,400 million rupees (about 144 million euros).

According to the statement, the Indian Government has filed criminal complaints in 16 cases.

According to the local newspaper Indian Express, a collaborator with the ICIJ, at least 12,000 of the almost 1.2 million new documents published Thursday  are linked to Indian citizens.

The Panama Papers scandal of 2016 covers more than 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, specialized in capital management in tax havens.

The publication of the papers hit  personalities of like  Argentine president, Mauricio Macri; the former British Prime Minister David Cameron, the footballer Lionel Messi, members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and  the then Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who had to resign because of the scandal.



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US Justice Department swoops on Mossack Fonseca quartet

Ramses Owens
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Mossack Fonseca, the Panama Law firm  whose principals were advisors to President Varela when the Panama Papers scandal erupted is back in the public eye with one of its local lawyers facing charges by the US Justice Department that could carry  a 70 -year sentence

Panamanian lawyer Ramses Owens Saad 50, Germans HJ (Harald Joachim) von der Goltz and Dirk Brauer and the American Richard Gaffey have been accused of electronic fraud, money laundering, fraud to evade taxes and “other crimes related to the roles they played in a criminal scheme carried out for decades by Mossack Fonseca (MF) ” the Department of Justice announced on Tuesday, December 4 .

The research is derived from the revelations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), about the activities of the Panamanian firm.

Three of the four accused have been detained: Brauer, Von Der Goltz, and Gaffey, according to the Justice Department Owens  – remains “free” in Panama ” He faces five charges, which carry a sentence of up to 70 years in prison, according to the accusation filed by the District Attorney of the Southern District of New York.

The indictment of the prosecution mentions 11 charges; Owens is linked to five of them: conspiracy to defraud the United States; electronic fraud and conspiracy through electronic fraud; conspiracy to evade taxes, and money laundering. Owens, in conspiracy with Brauer, would have committed the acts between the years 2000 to 2017. Throughout the  17 years-Owens advised his Mossack Fonseca clients on how to evade the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS),

Von Der Goltz, 81 years old, was a client of Owens in Guatemala. Although of German nationality,  he resided in the United States, since his wife is American. He was arrested in London, on  Monday.

Gaffey, a 74-year-old US accountant, was arrested on Tuesday in Medfield, Massachusetts. While Brauer, who worked as an investment manager in Mossfon Asset Management, SA , affiliated with Mossack Fonseca, was arrested in Paris, on November 15.



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Meryl Streep to star in Panama Papers movie

Meryl Street in The Post
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Meryl Streep will star in “The Laundromat,” a drama directed by Steven Soderbergh on the Panama Papers scandal, that focused the eyes of the world on a local law firm close to the government says The Hollywood Reporter.

The announcement comes as the spotlight has returned to the now moribund Mossack Fonseca law firm with moves by the US Justice Department against four people, including a Panamanian lawyer involved in an international IRS tax avoidance plot which could incur sentences of 70 years behind bars.

Recent Oscar winner Gary Oldman and Spaniard Antonio Banderas are currently negotiating their participation in the project, the publication said.

The film will be screened by Scott Z. Burns, a regular contributor to Soderbergh, and will be based on Jake Bernstein’s book “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.”

The Panama Papers is the name by given to the scandal that erupted in April 2016 over the alleged use of the ghost corporations sold by Mossack  Fonseca for the concealment in 21 tax havens of properties, profits, and evasion by personalities from the world of politics, finance, sports, and culture.

Streep, nominated in the last edition of the Oscars for her role in the newspaper drama “The Post”, will soon release the musical “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and has “Mary Poppins Returns” by the end of the year.



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The Panama Papers begin to take their toll

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 21:45


This Tuesday the Panama Papers case revived from the US Justice Department, which through an official statement announced charges against four people related to this investigation, these being the first prosecutions of people involved in this investigation related to international money laundering.

Ramses Owens (Panamanian), Dirk Brauer (North American), Richard Gaffey and Harald von der Goltz (Germans) are the names mentioned in the case that will be brought in the court of the Southern District of New York, charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, and other offenses related to their roles in the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, company from which such crimes would have been committed.

"Law firms, asset managers and accountants play key roles enabling entry into the global financial system," Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a statement.

"The charges announced today demonstrate our commitment to prosecute professionals who facilitate financial crimes across international borders and the tax cheats who utilize their services," he added.

This firm was responsible for creating "off shore" companies, with the purpose of tax evasion or hiding illicit money, activities in which these four citizens would be involved and in fact, only one of them, Ramses Owens, remains at large. Brauer (54 years old) was imprisoned in Paris on November 15, Von Der Goltz (81 years old) in London on December 3 and Gaffey (74 years old) in Massachusetts last Tuesday.

Initially Owens and Brauer are accused of having managed laundry and evasion between 2000 and 2017, when they took several of their clients to hide their income from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS -CI). Von Der Goltz evaded his own accounts under the indication of Gaffey, Owens and Brauer, placing his mother as the sole owner of each fictitious company, so since she’s not a resident or taxpayer, is outside certain regulations.

Faced with the accusations received, those involved could add more than 50 years in prison: 20 for conspiracy to commit electronic fraud; 5 for conspiracy for tax evasion, 20 for electronic fraud, 20 for money laundering conspiracy, 10 for intentional failure to file a Foreign Bank Report and FBAR Financial Accounts and 5 years for false statements.

The IRS-CI, the Complex Fraud and Cybercrime Unit of the Office, the Transnational Criminal Companies Unit, together with the Asset Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the Criminal Division, in charge of presenting the evidence and procedures to the court in charge of the case, currently handle this case.

This procedure in the Federal Court of Manhattan will be in charge of two groups, the first consisting of Sarah E. Paul, Thane Rehn, Kristy Greenberg and Andrew Adams (deputy lawyers), completed by Michael Parker and Parker Tobin (Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section).

Leaked in 2015, the Panama Papers represented millions of documents detailing financial and attorney-client information on offshore holdings or in tax havens that defrauded the US and other countries.

Named in the leak were 12 current or former world leaders, 128 politicians and public officials, and hundreds of celebrities, businessmen and other wealthy people from more than 200 countries.

The Panama Papers were the culmination of a year-long investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and more than a hundred news organizations.

Late last month, Deutsche Bank's head office and other locations in Frankfurt, Germany, were registered as part of the Panama Papers investigation, as it is suspected that the German bank helped Mossak Fonseca's clients set up the offshore holdings.



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Mossack Fonseca  high roller arrested

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Lawyer  Ramsés Owens  a former top player in the Panama Papers scandal who has the potential threat of 70-years in jail hanging over his head, was arrested   in  Panama on Thursday, night December 6, as part of the investigation into the  defunct  Mossack Fonseca (MF) law firm  and the handling of money of illicit origin in Brazil, a in the  Lava Jato case.

Ramses Owens

Owens was already under investigation and had been favored with bail .. However, he never registered bail, and why the Second Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime ordered his provisional detention reports La Prensa.

In the twisted lava Jato – Mossack Fonseca saga   Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora, founders of the law firm were originally investigated along with  Edison Teano and María Mercedes Riaño, who was in charge of signing in Brazil. All of them are prevented from leaving the country, after being allowed bail.

This week, the US Department of Justice announced that Owens and three others are indicted in a Manhattan court for tax and electronic fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and other crimes related to the role played in a “criminal scheme”  perpetrated in Mossack Fonseca. for decades

Due to these facts, Owens faces a sentence of up to 70 years in prison.



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Panama Papers key player wants outta jail

Ramses Owens
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Two writs of habeas corpus have been  filed with  Panama’s Supreme Court on behalf of a Panamanian citizen wanted in the U.S. to face money laundering charges that could earn him up to 70 years behind bars

Ramsés Owens  seen as  a central figure in the Panama Papers scandal that reverberated around the world was arrested  last week for allegedl  money laundering through companies established by  Mossack Fonseca headquartered in Panama city but with tentacles spread across the world’s financial capitals.

Owens, who was arrested in his Costa del Este, residence by agents of the  Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) linked by the Second Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime to an alleged structure that would have used Panamanian banks to launder illicit money

The prosecutor’s office investigated Owens also issued arrest  warrants for  another 26 people, associated  with the structure  to allegedly legitimize dirty money.

The case, reports La Prensa  is aimed at investigating the creation of a series of corporations and open bank accounts to hide large sums of money that came from illegal activities. The administration of the funds would have been done through a sophisticated scheme that included shell companies  and intricate money deposit systems to evade registration systems.

Owens is also under investigation for another case of alleged money laundering through the defunct securities firm Financial Pacific and the Jal Offshore company . In this case, he was initially under  of house arrest.

The US Department of Justice  has accused Owens of tax fraud, money laundering and other crimes related to the role he played through Mossack Fonseca. Three others connected to the scheme were arrested in different countries.



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Panama Papers probes moving forward

Owens,Mossack, Fonseca, and Teano
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The principal partners of the Mossack Fonseca law firm whose tax dodging activities were unveiled in the Panama Papers have been called to face investigators of money laundering and spin-off probes in other countries have been initiated.

The Second Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime has charged Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora,  founding partners of the firm, Mora, and also ordered the investigation of Edison Teano, an employee of the law firm.

The order of inquiry is based on judicial assistance from Germany, which has information on a company of an entrepreneur from that country, which was managed by Mossack Fonseca.

The three have jointly filed a writ of habeas corpus because they fear that the prosecutor’s office is going to order them to be held in preventive custody, once they appear to file a preliminary statement.

The habeas corpus was lodged in the Supreme Court on December 21.

Meanwhile, the defense of  Ramsés Owens another implicated lawyer has requested the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to summon the full body, to discuss two writs of habeas corpus filed in favor of the lawyer. , who is detained for alleged money laundering through companies formed by Mossack Fonseca.

Owens has been detained since December 6  and the writs of habeas corpus seeking his release were presented on December 10.

The Organized Crime Prosecutor is advancing in a new phase of the investigation, related to the corporate structure created by Mossack Fonseca.

The Public Ministry reported that the detection production of false contracts; fraudulent bank accounts; and the administration of funds “through irregular fiduciary services, to conceal the identity of the controllers, linked to illicit activities”.

Sources say the case reaches 26 people for alleged money laundering is being investigated.

The Seventh Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office also has Owens under investigation for another case of alleged money laundering through the defunct brokerage  Financial Pacific and the Jal Offshore company.

Meanwhile, The US Department of Justice accused Owens of tax fraud, money laundering and other crimes related to the role he played through the Mossack Fonseca firm for which he could face up to 70 years in jail.



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Panama Papers raid revealed Siemens bribery links

Posted on January 2, 2019 in Panama

Prosecutors move in to Mossack Fonseca
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ShaPost Views: 255A raid on the offices of now-defunct Mossack Fonseca (MF), in  April  2016, uncovered documentation indicating that executives of the German transnational Siemens company lied to the judicial authorities in Munich about hidden undeclared funds, which allegedly were used to pay bribes in several countries including Panama.

In the style of Odebrecht, there was a “black box” through which funds went to a number of people with hidden bank accounts.

A report revealed a management structure created to move money from the German transnational, which would have served as a source for the Panamanian prosecutor’s office to request judicial assistance from the Munich Prosecutor’s Office.

The MP and the German prosecutor exchanged information that allowed the  German authorities to reopen the Siemens case and the Panamanian prosecutor’s office to obtain new findings in the Mossack Fonseca (MF) case.

Agents identified the Panamanian bank accounts to which money transfers were made, which was later transformed into securities.

The characteristic of this phase of the investigation is that the detected transfers originated in the bank accounts in Munich, where the illicit money that belonged to the executives of Siemens was deposited.

The prosecution was able to corroborate with its counterparts in Munich that the money was transferred to Panama through the so-called black box.

The black box, as in the case of Odebrecht, is a mechanism used to manage the money that is not registered in the legal operations of the company.

On the purposes of maintaining these funds clandestinely, the executives of Siemens pointed out that there were many, among them, the payment of illicit commissions for the intermediaries of the transnational company in several countries, in exchange for contracts.

This information allowed the prosecutor’s office in Munich to reopen the investigation to Siemens executives and ordered that new statements be taken about the activities carried out in Panama through MF.

When the German authorities reopened the process against the executives of the German company, with the information delivered by Panama, they reached judicial agreements and recognized the existence of ill-gotten funds reports La Prensa

Then, the Munich prosecutor’s office responded to the judicial assistance to Panama, which revealed the traceability of the financial movement and the Panamanian prosecutor’s office obtained new evidence for the MF case.

The members of the firm identified are  Dirk Brauer, Ramses Owen, Edison Teano, Egber Wethenbourne and Néstor Broce, who made transfers to MF. Brauer, a German national, who confessed that he knew the illicit origin of money.

The owners and founders of the extinct law firm,  Ramón Fonseca Mora and Jurgüen Mossack, allegedly received 5% of each bank transfer.

The prosecution has a document found in the MF search that reveals that the firm would have received $40,000 for each bank transfer related to Siemens.

The money received would have been deposited in accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, and Panama. In addition, with the now-defunct Financial Pacific, investment accounts were allegedly created and then, converted into securities. According to the inquiries, it was then under the management of Dirk Brauer and with the technical assistance of Sabrina de Ramos, the technical manager of Mossack Fonseca Asset Management (Mamsa), who would have provided advice for the discretionary management of this client’s funds.



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Banned from leaving the country Panamanian lawyer investigated for Panama Papers

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:09


The Panamanian lawyer Ramses Owen, to whom the US Department of Justice made charges within the investigation of the Panama Papers, was benefited by the justice of his country with the change of his provisional detention for the prohibition of leaving the country, said this Friday an official source.

The change comes despite the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama (SCJ), in ruling on a Habeas Corpus filed in Owens' favor, declared the personal precautionary measure of provisional detention decreed against the lawyer, said in a statement the Judicial Branch (JB).

Against Owens the Panamanian justice follows a process "as an alleged offender of crimes against the economic order, specifically money laundering, known as the 'Panama Papers' case".

Owens was apprehended on December 6 in the sector of Costa del Este, an exclusive neighborhood of the Panamanian capital, "in moments he was entering his residential", said on that occasion to Acan-Efe an official source.

The US Department of Justice announced on December 4 charges against 4 people related to the investigation of the Panama Papers, in what are the first prosecutions of people involved in this investigation linked to international money laundering.

Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, Richard Gaffey and Harald von der Goltz were indicted, in the Southern District Court of New York, of electronic fraud, tax fraud, money laundering and other crimes related to their roles in a criminal scheme allegedly perpetrated by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

In the ruling issued this Thursday in Panama, the plenary of the SCJ imposes on Owens the prohibition to leave the territory of the Republic without judicial authorization.

Also the duty to appear on Monday and Friday of each week before the authority that aired the case, and the obligation to reside at the address indicated as his domicile in Panama City, having to notify the respective authority in advance of any change of address.

When substantiating its decision, the plenary concluded that "it is certain that, when exceptional scenarios occur, it is permissible to have the application of the most serious of the precautionary measures, but in this particular case this is not observed".

Explains in that sense that the researched "is a Panamanian citizen, maintains domicile in national territory and the times that has been required by the investigating agent to carry out investigative proceedings, he has appeared".

Likewise, the CSJ ordered the corresponding authority to "ensure the effectiveness of this measure and issue the orders that prevent the use of the passport or other identification document necessary to travel" to Owens.

The Court also instructed to officiate the National Migration Service, so that the necessary measures are taken "for the purpose of prohibiting his departure from the country."

Last May, Owens was granted bail of US$ 200,000 that he never proceeded to consign, for which he was arrested, according to local press reports that were confirmed to Acan-Efe by the source.

In April 2016, hundreds of media outlets had access to the database of Mossack Fonseca and revealed that personalities from all over the world hired its services to create offshore companies and presumably evade taxes.

The Panama Papers were the culmination of a year-long investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.



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European meeting reviews Mossack Fonseca

Posted 14/02/2019
At a time when Panama is protesting its inclusion on the latest European Union (EU) blacklist, a third coordination meeting was held on February 13 and 14 at the headquarters of Eurojust, in the Netherlands, on investigations into alleged criminal activities related to the Mossack-Fonseca law firm, the center of the Panama Papers scandal.

Eurojust was created in 2002, with the aim of supporting and reinforcing the coordination and cooperation between national authorities in the fight against serious forms of cross-border crime in the  EU.

A  delegation from the Public Ministry of Panama had the opportunity to meet with representatives of Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Holland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, the and the US.. Europol also participated.

Money laundering
The investigation into the "Mossack Fonseca papers" represents an "unprecedented" case of international money laundering in which international judicial cooperation has been crucial, said a Eurojust statement. 

Eurojust recalled that it plays a fundamental role in bringing together all the competent authorities of the EU Member States and third States, "facilitating the exchange of information and ensuring the coordination of investigations," adds this report.

During the meeting, the Panamanian delegation authorities made known the new law criminalizing tax evasion on the isthmus. "Panama is a country in the process of overcoming some obstacles identified by international observers and is now making unprecedented efforts in the fight against organized crime," members of the delegation said.



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US Justice Department declares Panama lawyer fugitive


Ramsés Owens,

Posted 11/06/2019

A  Panamanian lawyer, a  key player in the Panama Papers scandal  that muddied the country’s name around the world has been declared a fugitive from justice  by the  US Department of Justice

 Ramsés Owens, one of the brains behind the tax services offered by the now-defunct law firm  Mossack Fonseca, is considered a fugitive for his reluctance to face charges against him for alleged electronic fraud, money laundering and fraud to evade taxes, among other crimes.

Owens has never personally appeared before US courts, although on several occasions since the accusation on December 4,  "conversations" have been held with his lawyers to find a way to do so, according to In a note sent l June 7 to Judge Richard Berman, of the Southern District Court of New York, by prosecutors  reports La Prensa.

"Owens, through his lawyer, has affirmatively stated that he is not willing to travel. Given these facts, the Government continues to consider Owens as a fugitive from justice, " says the note.

The defendant remains in Panama and alleges that he cannot travel to New York because he is prohibited from leaving the country without judicial authorization, while he is being investigated for another case: that of alleged money laundering through companies formed by Mossack Fonseca. In this case, he had been detained, but the  Supreme Court eased the precautionary detention.

 Defense Lawyers asked Jeremy  Judge Berman to dismiss these elements, arguing that "the manner in which the Panamanian authorities obtained the evidence violates American notions of due process, but also violates fundamental standards of decency."

The defense complains, in particular, that they were not "notified" of the proceedings to obtain information stored on Owens' cell phone. They also reproach that - at the request of New York prosecutors - the Public Ministry of Panama seized an account in the name of Reveck Holdings Foundation at the end of May.

They do not specify the name of the bank or what its   relationship with Owens is, but New York prosecutors told the judge of the case that in April they were informed by a lawyer that  Owens that this was the trustee of the account and that the owner of the same was a Guatemalan citizen identified as "the Mother".

Prosecutors asked the judge to reject the request of the defense attorneys and point out that all the information was obtained through the mutual legal assistance treaty signed by Panama and the United States. Judge Berman has not responded yet if the evidence will be discarded or not, and it is not known when the next hearing will be reports La Prensa.



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