Poker Players Mentioned in Panama Papers LeakApril 5, 2016 10:20 am
A whistle-blower has lifted the lid on how the rich have been exploiting a tax haven provided by the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Around 11.5m documents have been leaked revealing a veritable assortment of wealthy and high-profile figures who have been utilizing the offshore tax haven, including 12 national leaders, 143 politicians, as well as a handful of Swedish poker players.
Included amongst those players are three men who have already served three-year prison terms after being sentenced for fraud back in 2011. According to court documents, the men ran a company in Sweden, but that was registered in the British Virgin Islands, with Mossack Fonseca acting as their agent.
Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter brought the connection with these men and their Nordic gambling site back into the light after the Panama Papers were leaked. In addition, a slew of other parties have now also been brought to the attention of authorities, including hundreds of Swedish individuals, businesses, and the major Scandinavian bank, Nordea.
Sweden has one of the highest corporate and personal tax rates in the world, which can reach more than 50 percent at the top end of the scale. The more than 400 Swedish firms and people named in the Panama Papers can now expect to be scrutinized by the Swedish tax authority, and as the country’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson explained recently:
“It is a crime – tax evasion – it is totally unacceptable. I mean, the whole of the Swedish model is based on the fact that you accept and pay taxes.”
The Panama Papers were first leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in August 2015, and have now been analyzed by more than 80 countries across the globe. A full list of the firms involved are expected to be released a couple of months from now in May.