Update on Panama Papers: EFCC, Interpol to Go After Saraki, David Mark, Others - Leystradamus.Com.Ng

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Update on Panama Papers: EFCC, Interpol to Go After Saraki, David Mark, Others

The Federal Government has opened a file on Nigerians whose names have been mentioned in the Panama Papers as operating secret offshore accounts in notorious tax havens.

Some of the individuals listed in the papers so far are the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and his predecessor, David Mark.

Others big names on the list include
Africa’s richest man, Mr. Aliko Dangote; his cousin, Saayu Dantata, and a former Minister of Defence, Lt.Gen Theophilus Danjuma (retd.)

It was learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had been gathering reports from local and international media as well as the responses being given by those named.

It was also learnt that EFCC would carry out its independent investigation and could involve INTERPOL.

A German newspaper had last Sunday released the Panama Papers, seen as the biggest leak in the history of data journalism, publishing online 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which showed how some prominent people across the world criminally hid money using anonymous shell corporations across the world.

The Panamanian law firm, regarded as one of the world’s most secretive companies, according to documents, has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.

It was alleged that about four assets belonging to the Saraki family, which included Girol Properties Ltd., Sandon Development Limited, and Landfield International Developments Ltd., were tucked away in secret offshore territories.

Similarly, at least eight offshore companies in the British Virgin Island have been linked to Senator Mark which he allegedly operated while holding office, a criminal offence according to Nigerian laws.

A credible source told Punch that Federal Government was studying the mood of the international community and looking at how other countries were handling investigations.

The source, who pleaded anonymity due tothe sensitivity of the matter, said, “We are studying the matter closely. In fact, we have opened a file and all reports are being gathered.

“We want all the names to be released first before launching full investigations. The issue is a tricky one. After preliminary investigations, we will seek advice from the Office of the Attorney General because investigations of such nature will need foreign collaboration.”

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