[UPDATE] Panama Papers: Fresh Data Set to Land on Taiwanese

[UPDATE] Panama Papers: Fresh Data Set to Land on Taiwanese
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[UPDATE]:

Taiwan Reaction:

Although Taiwanese individuals are allegedly linked with the Panama Papers, the uproar was relatively minor:

  • The Ministry of Finance plans to set up a task force to investigate the alleged offshore accounts owned by Taiwanese nationals with assistance from the Ministry of Justice and the Finance Supervisory Committee.
  • The DPP and New Power Party (NPP) discussed their views on the methodology to address tax evasion. It was mentioned that a law against tax evasion was previously discussed in 2012, but was shelved.
  • Several companies have been accused by a DPP legislator of conducting tax evasion. While the companies insist on being innocent, Hon Hai threatened to sue the legislator for defamation.
International Reaction:
  • Panama has set up an investigation committee to review its financial law and practices.
  • More information was disclosed as it was discovered over 200 Americans with a criminal past were listed in the leaked documents.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron admits having profited from listings he had with his father.

(update ends)

Fresh information on Taiwanese nationals implicated in the Panama Papers looks set to be released in the near future.

Over the past few days, the world’s media has focused on the leak of 11.5 million files from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, which ties more than 14,000 offshore accounts and companies to politicians and wealthy businessmen across the world.

Taiwan’s Commonwealth Magazine is one of several publications involved in the investigation, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

According to a report, Commonwealth Magazine Deputy Editor Chen Yi-shan said new details on those listings related to Taiwanese will be released in the near future.

When news of the leaks broke on Sunday, some local media initially linked several prominent Taiwanese to the latest tranche of leaked documents. The names included President-elect’s brother, Tsai Ying-yang, and the heads of several companies such as Ting Hsin International Group, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Chen, however, said such information was exposed by ICIJ in its 2013 investigation – this earlier investigation linked more than 16,000 Taiwanese to offshore holdings. 

While the ICIJ on its website notes that there are“legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts,” the Panama Papers leak points to widespread illegal or unethical operation of offshore accounts and companies to evade taxes. The latest release of data has sparked tax evasion investigations into possible tax havens, causing the Prime Minister of Iceland to resign.

Edited by Edward White and Olivia Yang

Sources:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2016/04/05/2003643209
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2016/04/06/462703/ROC-Panama.htm
http://udn.com/news/story/9688/1608667-%E5%8F%B0%E7%81%A3%E7%89%88%E3%80%8C%E5%B7%B4%E6%8B%BF%E9%A6%AC%E6%96%87%E4%BB%B6%E3%80%8D-%E5%B0%9A%E6%9C%AA%E5%85%AC%E5%B8%83
https://panamapapers.icij.org/
“U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron Admits He Profited on Shares of Trust Mentioned in Panama Papers" (NBC News)
“American executives’ names surface in Panama Papers" (USA Today)
“Cabinet announces ‘Panama Papers’ measures" (The China Post)
“Panama to form an expert financial review commission" (Taipei Times)
“DPP, NPP each propose tax evasion measures" (Taipei Times)
“Hon Hai denies ‘Panama Papers’ scandal" (Taipei Times)