Latest: FIFA ethics committee launch #panamapapers probe

More than 300 companies in Ireland have been linked to the so-called 'Panama Papers' release.

The leak of secret off-shore accounts includes the names of some of the world's most prominent politicians, celebrities and sport stars.

The law firm in Panama at the centre of the leak - Mossack Fonseca - denies any wrongdoing.

Update 5.22pm: FIFA's independent ethics committee has launched an investigation into one of its own members over allegations related to the 'Panama Papers' leak.

Uruguayan lawyer Juan Pedro Damiani is the subject of the investigation which will look at alleged links between him and his compatriot Eugenio Figueredo, the former FIFA vice-president who was arrested last year on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice.

Update 4.28pm: Anti-Austerity Alliance TD has commented on the findings of the report.

Paul Murphy TD said: “It is not acceptable for government ministers and TDs to bemoan the loss of taxation through these tax havens when they and their predecessors have facilitated Ireland becoming a tax haven for multi-nationals.

He added: ""In Ireland, Revenue should be brought in to investigate the dealings of any Irish based bank, company or individual who has assisted people in avoiding tax here and go after them for losses to the state. These measures are robbing ordinary people of funds for public services.”

Update 3.04pm: Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson insists he will not resign after documents leaked

Going on Icelandic television, Mr Gunnlaugsson said he would not resign and added there was nothing new in the information contained in the Panama Papers data leak.

Iceland's foreign minister also said on a trip to India that the prime minister had not done anything illegal.

"There is nothing strange there," said Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, the minister for foreign affairs and external trade.

Update - 12.40pm: The political future of Iceland's prime minister is in danger because of his reported links to an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands.

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson faces a vote of no confidence in parliament after news reports linked him and his wife to an account that was created with the help of a Panamanian law firm at the centre of a massive tax evasion leak.

The revelation concerns offshore company Wintris Inc, which Mr Gunnlaugsson allegedly set up in 2007 along with his wife Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir.

The opposition has called for a vote against the centre-right government. Public protests are also scheduled outside parliament.

Mr Gunnlaugsson, the head of the centre-right Progressive Party, began his four-year term in 2013, five years after Iceland's financial collapse.

Update - 12.10pm: Russia says President Putin is the "main target" in leaked documents from Panama, but he is not linked to any offshore activity.

Earlier: A company registered on Botanic Avenue in Drumcondra, Dublin, has been linked to international arms deals in India, the Philippines and elsewhere.

It is reported that the documents show that Intertrade Projects Consultants Ltd, a company with a registered address on Botanic Avenue in Drumcondra, north Dublin, acted as a sales agent for customers which included one of the world’s largest aerospace and defence conglomerates.

The Italian firm, Finmeccanica, deals in military aircraft, torpedoes, and electronic warfare equipment.

Intertrade Projects Consultants is 19 years old, and has one shareholder.

A second firm involved in the leak is said to be a trust and secretarial service called Pegasus Trusts and it is reported that this is a very small part of their business.

The company is shown to have acted as an intermediatory between Intertrade and Mossack Fonseca.

A marquee of the Arango Orillac Building lists the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City. Pic: AP

Pegasus told The Irish Times that these clients are historical and that no new clients have been taken on in over a decade.

“The services we provided to these companies, and to Intertrade specifically, were of a company secretarial/administrative nature. We had no decision-making role in any of these companies, including Intertrade,” the company added.

Reacting to the publication, Oxfam Ireland's chief executive Jim Clarken said that the most vulnerable people are still footing the bill for the wealthy.

He said: "The most vulnerable people here in societies here in Ireland and elsewhere are the ones that are denied the access to services because governments can't pay for them".


KEYWORDS: panama papers

 

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