NEWS

Countries rattled by tax-haven data leak

04/07/2013 06:08 EDT | Updated 06/07/2013 05:12 EDT
The massive leak of offshore financial records that came to light in the past week has pierced what was once an opaque domain. Politicians, business people and celebrities are seeing their dealings in tax havens laid bare. Here's a sampling of some of the global reaction.

Britain

Pressure has ratcheted up on Prime Minister David Cameron to overhaul the half-dozen tax havens under British dominion. Some of the world's biggest offshore locales — the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Bermuda — are either U.K. territories or Crown dependencies. The cascade of revelations this week about shady dealings in the BVI in particular has elicited calls for action.

- Read more: David Cameron urged to act over British Virgin Islands (The Guardian)

Colombia

Former president Alvaro Uribe went on the defensive after it was reported that his two sons incorporated a company in the British Virgin Islands while he was still in office. The company was formed as part of a handicrafts business that "they've been involved in since they were children," Uribe said. "They are not tax evaders."

- Read more (in Spanish): 'My sons don't even know the word front man' (Semana)

Germany

The country's Finance Ministry called on media outlets that are sharing the millions of leaked files to release the records to national tax agencies. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he is "pleased" with the revelations about offshore accounts, but a spokesman said tax agencies around the world want to "start their investigations" to potentially recoup the sums they might be owed.

Read more:

- Germany urges data on offshore tax accounts to be surrendered (Bloomberg)

- Why media group won't hand over files to government agencies (ICIJ)

Mongolia

The country's deputy parliamentary Speaker, who served as finance minister until last summer, says he's considering resigning following revelations about his secret offshore company and its Swiss bank account. Sangajav Bayartsogt acknowledged "I should not have opened that account," and disclosed that it held $1 million at one point.

- Read more: Disclosure of offshore documents may force top Mongolian lawmaker to resign (ICIJ)

Philippines

A national commission charged with recouping the ill-gotten riches of the country's former dictator, the late Ferdinand Marcos, says it will investigate Marcos's daughter following divulgences about her offshore dealings. Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, known as Imee Marcos, is the governor of a northern Philippine province. She failed to report that she's the beneficiary of an offshore trust on her annual disclosure statements.

Read more:

- Ferdinand Marcos's daughter tied to offshore trust in the Caribbean (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism)

- Philippines to probe 'secret' Marcos offshore trust (Agence France-Presse)

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