Peruvian tax authorities raid the home of Mossack Fonseca representative to the country
They seized accounting documents as part of investigation into tax evasion and fraud
Peruvian authorities have raided the home of a Mossack Fonseca representative in Lima.
A team of 20 from Peru’s tax agency searched and seized all accounting documents belonging to Monica Ycaza Clerc, who represents the global lawfirm Mossack Fonseca in Peru.
Authorities said the seizure was part of an investigation into tax evasion and fraud involving the law firm and Peruvian taxpayers. Last week, the National Customs and Tax Administration created a team to verify whether any tax evasion cases it had been investigating in the past year, correlate with companies and individuals mentioned in the Panama Papers.
Monday’s search was done “in order to thoroughly investigate her and also to check for possible connections that she would have with the ‘Panama Papers’ case and with Peruvian taxpayers,” according to a statement by the Peruvian tax agency.
Global repercussions are still reverberating from the leaked documents that allege that the law firm helped establish secret shell companies and offshore accounts for global power players. This is the biggest leak in history – one that dwarfs the amount of data released by WikiLeaks in 2010. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) coordinated with almost 400 journalists to go through the files.
Last week, El Salvadorean authorities raided the local office of Mossack Fonseca and also seized documents and computer equipment.
Fallout from the revelations has cost Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson his job. It has put UK Prime Minister David Cameron under pressure as his late father, according to the ICIJ, used the services of the Mossack Fonseca law firm to avoid having his investment fund pay any UK taxes. Cameron published his tax return information for the last six years, in the aftermath of the Panama Papers.
Allegations have also surrounded associates of Vladimir Putin (although the Russian leader isn’t mentioned by name in any of the documents); FIFA; Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri; relatives of multiple Chinese officials, including three members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the most powerful group in the ruling Communist Party; Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko; three of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others.
Mossack Fonseca has around 40 offices globally, including several in mainland China and others in countries and regions identified as tax havens by the European Commission.
CNN’s Don Melvin, Jethro Mullen and Ivana Kottasova contributed to this report.