Berlin | German judicial authorities have issued an international arrest warrant against the two founders of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, at the heart of the Panama Papers tax evasion scandal revealed in 2016 by an international consortium of journalists from investigation, reports the German daily “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ).
The two lawyers Jürgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, suspected of massive aid in tax evasion and criminal association, are now liable to be arrested if they attempt to enter the territory of the European Union, a reported late Monday the newspaper, peak in the Panama Papers, and which has partnered for this article with the regional audiovisual groups NDR and WDR.
The two men, holders of Panamanian passports, are currently in this country which does not extradite its nationals, notes the SZ. Investigators are, however, hoping that Mossack, who has family in Germany, will deliver himself to negotiate a reduced sentence and escape parallel prosecution in the United States.
On Twitter, Fonseca indirectly alluded to this case: “Concerning Germany, we sold companies to a German bank, which sold them to entrepreneurs, who used them for tax matters in which we had no nothing to see”.
He also blamed “the international left mafia” for the charges against him and wondered if “Germany has the right to speak of justice when the Nuremberg courts convicted and executed only 14 Nazis” despite the million dead from WWII.
The “Panama Papers” scandal erupted on April 3, 2016 with the leak of 11.5 million digital archives from the Mossack Fonseca cabinet, sensitive documents analyzed by the investigative consortium ICIJ which caused a global shock wave, leading in particular to the resignation of Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.
According to the exploitation by several media of the Panama Papers, they have brought to light a vast system of tax evasion passing through shell companies, in which several hundred banks have helped their clients.
At least 150 investigations have been opened in 79 countries to control possible situations of tax evasion or money laundering, according to the American Center for Public Integrity.
In 2018, the Mossack Fonseca firm announced the cessation of its activities due to “irreparable damage” inflicted on its reputation. Panama for its part is fighting to be removed from several blacklists of tax havens.