4 April 2016

Egypt: Mubarak's Son Exposed in 'Panama Papers' Leak

Photo: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
The law firm allegedly helped major politicians and celebrities around the world hide assets from tax authorities.

Cairo — The son of toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was among the political leaders and politicians exposed in documents leaked late on Sunday dubbed as the "Panama Papers".

The leaked documents were originally obtained by German newspaper Suddeustche Zeitung from an anonymous source. The newspaper shared the information with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which announced the leakage of more than 11 million documents from a Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The documents revealed widespread international corruption related to offshore tax havens by prominent politicians and leaders.

According to ICIJ, the leak also unearths the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and uncovers financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.

The leak also includes how the Mossack Fonseca is engaged in secret business activities to help its clients evade taxes and launder money.

According to the Guardian, the leak is "one of the biggest" in history.

The leaked data includes information about Pan World Investments Inc. owned by Mubarak's son Alaa and managed by Credit Suisse in the British Virgin Islands. After the toppling of Mubarak in the 2011 Uprising and his subsequent arrest along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, BVI authorities asked Mossack Fonseca to freeze Pan World's assets, an order prompted by a European Union law.

ICIJ said that Mossack Fonseca was "hit by a series of fines" between 2012 and 2013 including a fine of $37,500 imposed on the firm for failing to properly check into Alaa who was considered "a high risk" client.

The leak exposes other heads of states and their associates including Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Last October, Mubarak's sons were released in the case dubbed as the "presidential palaces" where they were accused of seizing public funds originally allocated to the renovation of presidential palaces. The court had ordered the release as the defendants had already completed their three-year prison sentence.

In December, Mubarak was featured as one of the most symbolic 15 cases of "grand corruption" last December as part of the "Unmask the Corrupt" campaign launched by Transparency International.

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