Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks tax investigations yield €10.6 million in fines

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna says that not all investigations into the 237 cases that emerged from the Panama Papers have been concluded yet

Tax investigations sparked by the Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks have yielded almost €11 million in fines
Tax investigations sparked by the Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks have yielded almost €11 million in fines

Tax investigations into cases that emerged from the Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks have yielded €10.6 million in fines, Edward Scicluna said.

The Finance Minister told Parliament on Wednesday that the tax authorities were investigating 237 cases of possible tax evasion that came to light as a result of the Panama Papers.

Not all these investigations have been concluded yet, he added.

Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks were two major international leaks that exposed the secretive company and financial structures used by some to launder money and avoid taxes.

Former minister Konrad Mizzi and the ex-chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri, were exposed in the Panama Papers as having opened companies in Panama and trusts in New Zealand.

Speaking in Parliament on the Budget implementation Bill, Scicluna said that in 2018, the tax authorities collected €106 million in fines on unpaid taxes.

The authorities investigated 1,366 cases, which included those linked to the Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks.

Scicluna said no criminal action was taken in these cases because the tax authorities were not empowered to pass on tax matters to the police. He admitted that this was criticised by Moneyval, an international monitoring body, in the past.

Scicluna said that a memorandum of understanding has now been signed between the tax authorities and the police and four cases are now subject to a criminal probe.

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