According to a DW report, Panama has suspended a probe into the so-called Panama Papers, a trove of documents that brought to light widespread tax avoidance among some of the world’s most powerful leaders, prosecutors said.
Attorney General Kenia Porcell said a legal challenge on constitutional grounds required the suspension, adding that it was now in the hands of the Supreme Court to decide whether to reactivate the investigation.
This article helps underscore much of what we have been saying this past year regarding the “Panama Papers”. “Integrity” is the last word we would attach to this whole debacle.
First, the “papers” (millions of privately owned and constitutionally protected digital documents) were stolen from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Panama. From that point on, anyone who gets possession of them…journalists or not…have the legal obligation to return them and not access the private, stolen information.
Second, this article rightly labels most of these corporations and trusts that the documents reveal as “tax AVOIDANCE”. Placing investments in tax-advantaged jurisdictions is not illegal and is, in fact, one of the fundamental rights of individuals and corporations worldwide to place their money and compete in the global marketplace based on favorable tax incentives. We have no pity for liberal, high tax countries who leverage heavy taxes on the backs of their citizenry in order to then redistribute wealth in empty, state-mandated programs…and then cry to the rest of the world because the wealth is flooding elsewhere and they can no longer remain competitive in the global marketplace.
Finally, many of these countries leading the charge of pointing fingers at Panama and its lawyers for protecting the assets that have been entrusted to their sovereign country are in themselves the biggest “tax-havens” in the world for foreign investment. This is a pure example of the “pot calling the kettle black”. The USA, Canada, Britain and many other countries critical of Panama are in themselves the most protective and secretive countries for protecting foreign assets in the world.
It should also be noted that the founding attorneys, Jurgen Mossack and Luis Fonseca, are in preventive custody in Panama based on their potential connections to Oldebrecht, the Brazilian global construction conglomerate that is accused of distributing more corrupt political payments in exchange for contracts than any other company known to date. If these attorney’s roles were discovered via the illegally leaked papers, we believe their country’s constitution will end up finding them innocent of any illegal actions based on “stolen goods” as proof.
If people or corporations have stolen money in their home countries and placed them in Panama or other foreign “tax-havens”, the illegal action took place in those home countries. Those home courts have the onus of prosecuting and pursuing justice within their own borders. It is unrealistic to expect foreign countries and banks to know or enforce actions against depositors where no charges have been filed or no international laws have been broken. When states start trying to enforce the laws of all other states in the world through monetary controls and corrupt global institutions…independent sovereignty of states AND their citizenry will be lost forever. Panama should NEVER agree to enforce other country’s tax codes.
These and many other issues are being addressed in “The Truth about the Panama Papers”.