By Sasha Chavkin, ICIJ
Governments around the world are swinging into action in response to the Paradise Papers, launching investigations, audits and issuing the first arrest warrants stemming from the investigation’s findings.
A prosecutor in Argentina called for the arrest of four officials at a public university for their roles in an alleged money laundering scheme involving mining operations linked to commodities trader Glencore.
The warrant in Argentina was one of several government actions in Latin America, in addition to official responses in countries in Europe and Asia:
Argentina: A prosecutor in the Argentine province of Tucuman issued arrest warrants for four officials at the University of Tucuman, in connection to an alleged money laundering scheme connected to mining company La Alumbrera. La Alumbrera was linked to offshore companies belonging to Swiss commodities giant Glencore that were used to reduce taxes on mineral resources extracted from Argentina.
Chile: Two government agencies announced investigations into Paradise Papers revelations. Tax authorities have pledged to investigate Chilean companies that appear in the leaked files, and the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications said that it had contacted tax officials to contribute to an ongoing audit of Alsacia-Express, a major operator of public buses that had conducted business offshore in Bermuda.
Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos publicly released personal financial statements for years 2015 and 2016 after he was linked to two offshore companies in Barbados.
Bermuda: The former head of government, Michael Dunkley, predicted that Appleby would not survive after the Paradise Papers. “Sadly because of how badly they handled the hack I suggest that they will not be a viable entity going forward,” Dunkley wrote in a Facebook post. “This is also a reputation issue for Bermuda.”