A taskforce of the UK government has launched investigation against more than 30 individuals for criminal or civil offences linked to the Panama Papers scandal.
The taskforce launched civil and criminal investigations into 22 individuals for suspected tax evasion, and identified nine potential professional enablers of economic crime. It is also probing the links of 43 high net worth individuals with Panama.
Further, it established links to eight active serious fraud office investigations, and identified 26 offshore companies whose beneficial ownership of UK property was earlier hidden.
Overall, the taskforce contacted 64 firms to determine their links with Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based offshore law firm at the centre of the scandal.
In April 2016, the massive data leak known as Panama Papers exposed how the wealthy across the globe hide their wealth from the taxman. The exposure was the result of over 11 million files being leaked from Mossack Fonseca, and exposed many illustrious names.
After the data leak, EU finance ministers approved several anti-tax evasion measures to combat the tax-evading methods.
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In May 2016, Mossack Fonseca announced plans to shut down its operations in Jersey, Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Last month, Panama also signed OECD’s multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, to combat cross-border tax evasion.