Germany: Money Laundering fetches $113 billion

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Around 100 billion euros, or $113 billion, is laundered in Germany every year, according to a report released by the Finance Ministry. These illegal, often cash, transactions take place on the housing market, the art market and elsewhere and represent more than double the 50 billion euro, or approximately $56.6 billion, in money laundering previously estimated by the German government, the Local reported Thursday. http://www.ibtimes.com/money-laundering-reaches-113b-germany-organized-crime-flourishes-2357205

US: Why Panama conduct is everywhere

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The 50 biggest US companies have more than a trillion dollars hidden offshore according to a new report published by Oxfam today. This is more than the entire GDP of countries such as Spain, Mexico or Australia.

 

https://neurope.eu/article/fifty-biggest-us-based-multinationals-stash-1-3-trillion-offshore/

Panama Papers: How to tackle Panama related corruption

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The panama papers scandal continue to unfold day by day. As the FIFA scandal, it will not be ending soon. However, the following lessons drawn from this experience can help tackle panama related corruption.

(1)   Conduct reforms to increase transparency in top secrecy jurisdictions like Panama, Nevada, Cayman’s Island, Vanuatu etc.

(2)   Conduct national reforms in every nation in order to increase transparency on foreign financial services.

(3)   All countries should conduct reforms to increase transparency around who owns which company operating in their territory.

(4)   Sanction agencies that facilitate corrupt deals.

(5)   All countries should require public disclosure on the owners of firms participating in public tenders, offering public services, or purchasing property.

 

http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/3_steps_to_stop_secret_companies

Panama Paper from a Glance

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Where is Panama?

1)      Panama is a country in central America

2)      It borders Costa Rica, Colombia, and the Caribbean sea

3)      Major contribution of  Panama’s GDP are commerce, banking, tourism, and  revenues from the use of Panama Canal

4)      By 2010, Panama was the 2nd most competitive economy in Latin America

What are Panama papers?

1)      It is a leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records 

2)      The records were in custody of  Mossack Fonseca, a law firm that assisted individuals and firms operate legal and illegal financial business in Panama

3)      These records exposed hidden financial secrets, crime, and fraud conducted by offshore companies

Are there any crimes exposed?

1)      Individuals and firms blacklisted  in the US were operating through this networks

2)      Firms and individuals suspected of financing war and terrorism were caught in the incident

3)      Mossack Fonsecan facilitated and stored wealth for drug dealers and other organized crimes networks

4)      Global banks teamed with the wealthy to hide assets

5)       Tax evasion, bribery, financial fraud & arms deals  

Who are the key suspects?

1)      140 politicians from 50 countries

2)      They include heads of states,  ministers, elected officials and their associates

How does tax evasion work?

1)      Tax evaders hide their money in tax havens

2)      Tax havens are places with financial centers offering financial services to individuals who are not citizens of that particular country or firms not owned by  citizens of that country

3)      in Panama case were mainly wealthy people with  foreign bank accounts which were held in secret

4)      They did not want to pay tax or continue keeping the money in a foreign account where the deposit was taxed an interest

5)      Therefore, they created an offshore company through a law firm

6)      To distance themselves from the offshore company, they sold their shares to a close family member or organized for a private foundation  to become a shareholder of the company

7)      Private foundations proved the most safe way to hide suspects identity as they earned profit  

How did the world respond to the incident?

1.      OECD: Representatives from 28 nations met in Paris to hear proposals on strategies to handle Panama related crimes

2.      UK : Announced new transparency measures  including reforms to boost transparency

3.      New Zealand: Hired an international expert to renew the countries tax laws

4.      Switzerland: FIFA officials resigned, Police conducted investigative raids on select targets

5.      Iceland: Prime Minister resigned; the nation called for early elections

6.      Spain: Minister of Industry resigned

7.      United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain: Agreed to share tax law and enforcement data

8.      Panama: Promised that it will adopt international tax data reporting standards. It has done this before but it did not implement its promise

 

 

Source: https://panamapapers.icij.org/

Germany: Government seeks global fraud register

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The government in Germany has called for countries to work together in the fight against tax fraud and money laundering. Berlin proposed sharing national lists naming the beneficiaries of shell companies. The European Union has already agreed to create registers as part of a fourth directive on money laundering that must be implemented at the national level by mid-2017. http://www.dw.com/en/german-finance-ministry-seeks-global-register/a-19177537

   
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