April 09 , 2017
Panamanian authorities pledge support for national probes
ISLAMABAD: The Panamanian prosecutorial authorities have pledged complete cooperation and support for any of the on-going national investigations.
This is a major breakthrough which will boost the process of inquiries and probes into the revelations made in Panama Papers that is in progress in many countries of the world.
An extraordinary coordination meeting was held at the headquarters of the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) on 3rd and 4th of April at The Hague.
According to an official press release issued by the Eurojust, on the invitation of the National Members of Germany and Italy at Eurojust, the General Prosecutor of Panama, Ms Kenia Porcell, and her delegation met the representatives of the competent investigating authorities of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, the UK and Norway.
The press release announced that the meeting served to exchange information on various ongoing investigations in the participating states.
Eurojust press announcement added that the participating authorities were grateful for the “proactive and professional attitude” of the Panamanian prosecutorial authorities.
Eurojust press hand out further declared that based on the constructive atmosphere of mutual trust, the participants agreed to continue cooperation to support on-going national investigations.
It is worth mentioning that Panama, being a tax heaven offshore jurisdiction, doesn’t cooperate with other countries for any investigations pertaining to tax evasions complaints.
However, Panamanian authorities are cooperating with rest of the world proactively and providing information being sought by countries on any charges relating to corruption, kickbacks, frauds, falsehood, illegal assets through normal, regular and routine process of writing through rogatory commissions.
Though offshore jurisdictions do not share financial and other information about offshore companies but Panama is cooperating regarding documents it obtained from Mossack Fonseca. Mossack was a law firm based in Panama which was facilitating rich people from across the world to set up offshore companies in different offshore jurisdictions of the world. Majority of Pakistanis have offshore companies in British Virgin Island (BVI), Bahamas or Jersey and not in Panama. Word ‘Panama’ was discussed only because the law firm was based in Panama and because the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which shared these leaks with the world nameed it as “Panama Papers”.
Though it is important that these documents are officially received from Panama, the basic questions will remain unanswered unless BVI does not provide information.
The cooperation of Panamanian government regarding provision of authentic information will boost investigations about revelations made in Panama Papers across the world.