Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
Panama's Minister of the Presidency Alvaro Aleman (R) and Vice-Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie hold a press conference about the Mossack Fonseca firm and the Panama Papers revelations, in Panama City/AFP

Finance

Panama slams ‘unfair’ OECD accusations against it

Panama's Minister of the Presidency Alvaro Aleman (R) and Vice-Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie hold a press conference about the Mossack Fonseca firm and the Panama Papers revelations, in Panama City/AFP

Panama’s Minister of the Presidency Alvaro Aleman (R) and Vice-Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie hold a press conference about the Mossack Fonseca firm and the Panama Papers revelations, in Panama City/AFP

Panama City, Apr 6 – Panama has hit back at accusations it is a secretive offshore hub spurred by a huge data hack, sending a letter Tuesday to the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) saying such allegations were “unfair and discriminatory.”

The country’s deputy foreign minister, Luis Miguel Hincapie, said in the harsh letter addressed to the OECD’s Angel Gurria that, in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers revelations, he had made “allegations and insinuations whose falsity is easily demonstrated.”

The letter, obtained by AFP, said that Panama rejects the “regrettable” characterization made by Gurria in a statement on Monday, in which he said: “The ‘Panama Papers’ revelations have shone the light on Panama’s culture and practice of secrecy. Panama is the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has led the charge to try to make Panama’s financial transactions more transparent. The Central American country has introduced recent reforms, but the OECD says it still falls short on the issue of automatic financial information exchange.

Hincapie wrote that Panama’s company laws “are not fundamentally different from any other relevant financial jurisdiction” and noted that half of offshore companies are registered in the British Virgin Islands “a jurisdiction that operates under British legislation.”

He also stressed that all of the 10 banks named in the Panama Papers as doing business with the law firm hit by the hack were based in Europe, not Panama.

And he noted, too, that the US state of Delaware allowed great anonymity for company owners.

“The tactic to ignore other jurisdictions and focus solely on Panama is unfair and discriminatory,” he wrote.

Efforts to ‘tarnish’ Panama

Hincapie said the reports on the Panama Papers were being used to “distort the facts and tarnish the reputation of the country.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Panama is mounting a fierce defense of its laws and practices in an effort to protect its vital financial services sector.

Earlier Tuesday, it warned it could retaliate against France if Paris went ahead with a declaration that it would put Panama back on its blacklist of tax havens.

On Wednesday, the foreign ministry will also call a meeting of foreign diplomats in the country to press its argument that it is being unfairly treated in the wake of the hack on the law firm Mossack Fonseca.

At the same time, the government has reiterated that it stood ready to cooperate with any judicial probe resulting from the leaked documents, something Hincapie echoed in his letter.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...