France probes 100s over Panama Papers tax evasion

2016-11-17 21:27
In Panama City, a marquee of the Arango Orillac Building lists the Mossack Fonseca law firm. (Arnulfo Franco, AP)

In Panama City, a marquee of the Arango Orillac Building lists the Mossack Fonseca law firm. (Arnulfo Franco, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - French authorities said on Thursday they are investigating 560 taxpayers over tax evasion based on information garnered in the leaked Panama Papers.

Tax investigators around the world have spent months delving into the 11.5 million confidential documents leaked in April after Panamanian law office Mossack Fonseca's computers had been hacked.

The French taxpayers are suspected of having hidden away money through shell corporations in offshore tax havens such as the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands.

Checks have begun on 560 taxpayers, a finance ministry spokesperson confirmed. A source said the probes could take several months to complete.

Another 724 taxpayers had also used the Panamanian firm to avoid tax but were already known to French tax authorities, who in 2013 created a service (STDR) to give those holding undeclared offshore accounts the chance to come clean and pay their dues.

The taxpayers who used Mossack Fonseca's services had hidden away €4bn ($4.3bn) in assets for which the French government is due to recuperate €1.2bn in unpaid taxes and fines, according to Minister of Budget, Christian Eckert.


READ: SA law firm linked over 400 times in Panama Papers

By mid-September the STDR had received overall 47 000 requests from taxpayers to normalise their situation.

It related to €28.8bn of assets for which €6.3bn euros of unpaid taxes and fines have been recovered.

France is not the first country to publish the number of tax probes it has launched into entities linked to the Panama Papers.

In September, Denmark said it was working on 320 cases implicating 500 - 600 taxpayers.

Iceland disclosed on Wednesday it is investigating 108 taxpayers over tax fraud. Its former prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to resign in April after he was named in the Panama Papers.

The Papers, which were published at the initiative of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, showed how some wealthy individuals, public officials and even sports stars had been keeping assets in offshore accounts.

While offshore business entities are legal, they can also be used as shell companies for money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and other illegal activities.

WATCH this video:

Read more on:    france  |  panama ­papers

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.