PANAMA INTENSIFIES MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION AGAINST MOSSACK FONSECA

PANAMA INTENSIFIES MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION AGAINST MOSSACK FONSECA

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The Second Office of the Prosecutor against Organized Crime reported that it ordered nine search proceedings, nine conductions and ten investigators who have been charged in the investigation being conducted against the Mossack & Fonseca law firm.

The accused have been charged with the presumed commission of the crime of money laundering due to the connection of the law firm with the handling of money from illicit origin abroad, specifically Brazil.

Up to this moment, the Public Prosecutor said, it has been possible to locate 8 of the 10 people linked to the crimes. The institution expects that with the support of the security agencies it will be possible to find the whereabouts of the other two defendants in case they were not at home.

The media leaked the names of some of the accused, including Sara Montenegro, Ramsés Owens, Rubén Hernández, Katia Solano, Maribel Robles and Sandra Cornejo.

Yesterday, the prosecutor's office presented Edison Teano, an employee of the law firm, who was in charge of the bank accounts of clients abroad.

The Public Ministry assured that its intention is to comply with the constitutional and legal mandate of prosecution of the crime and reaffirms that this investigation is supported by the international collaboration of the Federal Public Ministry of the Republic of Brazil.

The Public Ministry said that the investigation is not directed against legal professionals or the good practice of this profession. He added that it is the elements gathered in the file that marks the line of investigation.

"We act in accordance with the norm, without distinction of ethnicity, social position or of the profession to which those who act against the law are dedicated," he said.

THE CASE

The investigation could be related to a series of events that the Brazilian Federal Police listed and that show that Mossack Fonseca's office in that country conspired as a criminal organization, with strategies to hide the identity of the beneficiaries of the offshore companies, allowing that were used with impunity.

The office of the Federal Police of Brazil, described in the operation 'Lava Jato', relates the existence of a criminal organization dedicated to the laundering of capital through commercial, financial, real estate and offshore companies, among which Milzart stands out Overseas Holdings, incorporated by Renato de Souza, director of Petrobras services and domiciled in Mossack Fonseca Panama.

Chronicles of Monte Friesner – Financial Crime Analyst  

Courtesy of Marlene Testa ( La Estrella )