EU Parliament Committee hearing on Panama Papers begins

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The European Parliament’s Panama Committee of Inquiry met today in Brussels where MEPs heard a presentation from the investigative journalists that form of part of International Consortium for Investigative Journalism.

The committee, comprising 65 MEPs, is to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application by the EU Commission or member states of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. It will have twelve months to present its report.

The Panama Papers contain more than 11.5m documents belonging to Mossack Fonseca. The data relates to the ownership of bank accounts and companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions, and covers a nearly 40-year period, through to the end of 2015. The leaked documents, published on 03 April 2016, suggest that 140 politicians and officials from around the globe, including 72 former and current world leaders, have connections with secret ‘offshore’ companies to escape tax scrutiny in their countries.