April 4, 2013 9:26 am

More than 400 Canadians named in offshore tax haven account leak

In the three years to March 31, 2012, almost 11,300 disclosures about offshore income arrived at the offices of the Canada Revenue Agency, acknowledging more than $1 billion in unreported income.

File / The Canadian Press

TORONTO – The identities of thousands of people, including over 400 Canadians, have been revealed in a leaked list of offshore tax haven accounts.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released a report Wednesday, the first of many, based on a 15-month investigation of offshore tax havens.

The list of names was taken from a “leaked trove of 2.5 million digital files,” the ICIJ said in a statement.

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According to the CBC, one of several news outlets that analyzed the documents uncovered by the ICIJ, Canadian lawyer Tony Merchant, husband of Saskatchewan Liberal Senator Pana Merchant, is among the names on the list.

The report alleges Merchant stashed away $1.7 million into a secret account in the South Pacific during a tax battle with the Canada Revenue Agency, the broadcaster reports.

Close to 130,000 individuals and bank agents in more than 170 countries have been named in the investigative report.

“This investigation lifts the curtain on the offshore system and provides a transparent look into the secret world of tax havens and the individuals and companies that use and benefit from them,” said Gerard Ryle, director of the ICIJ, in a statement.

“We already knew how secret and inaccessible the offshore industry is, but we were surprised by how vast and far reaching it is. It draws its clients not only from the world’s super-wealthy, but also from everyday professionals from all around the world.”

© Shaw Media, 2013

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