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Investigators visit Panama Papers law firm’s office

A marquee of the Arango Orillac Building lists the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Thursday, April 7, 2016. .
A marquee of the Arango Orillac Building lists the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Thursday, April 7, 2016. . AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco

PANAMA CITY – Panamanian prosecutors visited the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm Monday to look into its allegations that a computer hacker was behind the leak of a trove of financial documents about tax havens the firm set up to benefit influential people around the globe.

Public ministry spokeswoman Sandra Sotillo said the visit to the offices of Mossack Fonseca was made by investigators from the intellectual property prosecutor’s office.

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The firm filed a complaint charging the security breach shortly before media reports appeared last week using the documents to detail how politicians, celebrities and companies around the globe were hiding assets in offshore bank accounts and anonymous shell companies.

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“Finally the real criminals are being investigated,” firm co-founder Ramon Fonseca said in a message to The Associated Press.

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Fonseca has maintained that the only crime which can be taken from the leak was the computer hack itself. He has said he suspects the hack originated outside Panama, possibly in Europe, but has not given any details.

Panama’s government has said it will co-operate with any judicial investigation arising from the documents.

READ MORE: Panama Papers: Law firm regularly used name of Red Cross to hide money

Some critics of the government have called for a rapid investigation of the law firm, which is one of the most important in the world for creating overseas front companies.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has defended the country’s financial sector, which is considered of strategic importance for the economy. But Varela has also promised the international community that he is willing to make reforms to make the sector more transparent.