The Panama Papers have reportedly listed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s name as he was associated with an offshore company once as its director.
The said company was established by the controversial legal firm Mossack Fonseca, which allegedly assisted millionaires to avoid tax payment duties. Australian Financial Review has reported that Turnbull was the board member of British Virgin Islands’ Star Mining NL that was concerned in developing a $20 billion gold mine in Siberia known as Sukhoi Log in the 1990s. The reports also established a link to co-board member ex-NSW Premier Neville Wran with Star Technology Service, one of Star Mining’s subsidiaries during the same period. Mossack Fonseca, however, incorporated the subsidiary of the former two years earlier.
Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos backed Turnbull and blamed the AFR for “flogging a dead horse” on Thursday. “Can you hear that noise behind me? That’s the noise of a dead horse being flogged,” he said as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. “This is a 20-year-old matter.”
A prime minister’s spokesman told the AFR that the leader was not aware of links between the company he was associated with and Mossack Fonseca. There were no indications of Turnbull’s improper actions while he was directing the company’s proceedings. The details are available in the documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists but have not been publicised online as requested by the legal firm, according to 9 News.
“The Consortium has forced us to start aggressive legal action to protect ourselves from acts such as these, which, since they are crimes, must be taken to the proper bodies for due process,” the company said in a statement released overnight.
Over 800 Australians are being investigated due to their links with Mossack Fonseca. The Australian Tax Office ensured to find out the hidden names that have been involved in offshore investing to avoid taxes. The names of the heads of around 12 states have been obtained from the Panama Papers leakage, which led to the resignation of Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson. Even British PM David Cameron did not remain untouched of the tax evading stains.
The latest revelations include Harry Potter actress Emma Watson whose name has been found connected to an offshore company as well.