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Panama police raid the offices of Mossack Fonseca

The firm is accused of various crimes linked with the release of the Panama Papers.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

POLICE YESTERDAY RAIDED the headquarters of the Panamanian law firm whose leaked Panama Papers revealed how the world’s wealthy and powerful used offshore companies to stash assets.

Police with an organised crime unit carried out the raid at Mossack Fonseca “with no incident or interference,” prosecutors said in a statement, adding that searches would take place at the firm’s Panama City headquarters and its branches.

The Panama Papers, centered on a huge cache of documents pilfered digitally from the Mossack Fonseca, have had repercussions around the world.

Iceland’s prime minister was forced to resign after his name appeared as one of the beneficiaries of an offshore company. Britain’s prime minister David Cameron has had to disclose his tax records.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to divert attention from his entourage by claiming it is all a US plot against him.

China has been censoring online forums and media to try to prevent the names of relatives close to the leadership from circulating.

And wealthy citizens in Australia, France, India, Mexico, Peru, Spain and elsewhere face probes over suspected tax avoidance after their names figured in some of the 11.5 million documents.

David Cameron’s image has taken a beating from the delay in revealing that he held shares in his late father’s offshore fund and received money from his parents that may have skirted inheritance tax.

The papers have also caused a stir in Ireland, where ex-political and charity officials and financial companies have been caught up in relations with Mossack Fonseca.

-With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

© – AFP 2016

Read: South Korean men may have been given Viagra as political bribes

Read: Putin and Cameron among world leaders and celebrities connected with high-profile Panama Papers>

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