According to recent reports, New Zealand is the prime place for rich to hide their money. Latin Americans are using secret, tax-free shelf companies and trusts in New Zealand to launder money around the world. This developed came on Monday based on leaks of Panama Papers. Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, faces immense pressure as local media analyzed over 61,000 documents relating to the country that are a part of data leak from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Mossack Fonseca actively participated in branding New Zealand as a prime spot to conduct business owing to its tax-free status, and high levels of security and confidentiality. According to Key, the reports are ’utterly incorrect’. He said,
If there’s any need for change in this area, the government will consider it and if necessary, take action.
The government of New Zealand stated last month that it would begin a review of foreign trust laws after Panama Papers highlighted vulnerabilities in her legal framework that made it a possible link in international tax avoidance structures.
Governments around the globe have begun investigating possible financial misconduct by the rich after the leak of over 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, collectively known as Panama Leaks. Said documents revealed financial wrongdoing by prominent figures around the world, including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the Prime Ministers of Britain and Pakistan, and of the President of China Xi Jinping.
Mossack Fonseca’s primary contact in New Zealand was Roger Thompson, co-founder and director of accountant firm Bentleys New Zealand, which also happens to be the registered office of Mossack Fonseca New Zealand. Thompson’s name was found in over 4,500 documents associated with Panama Leaks. Moreover, the number of foreign trusts in New Zealand totaled less than 2,000 a decade ago however, according to Inland Revenue, the number has since increased 10,700. Thompson said that his firm did not assist people to illegally hide assets. He said,
I think the assumption that all New Zealand foreign trusts are being used for illegitimate purposes is unfounded and based largely on ignorance.
At any rate, the latest set of documents to release from Panama has implicated several prominent figures and countries, putting the world, once again, in chaos.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.