Luxembourg’s tax authority is in the process of analysing a trove of documents linked to the Panama Papers revelations.
Finance minister Pierre Gramegna on Thursday confirmed that Germany had supplied Luxembourg with “a large quantity of documents” linked to the tax avoidance scandal. Gramegna made the statement in answer to a parliamentary question after it emerged that German authorities had made a similar file transfer to Belgium.
The Panama Papers are leaked documents detailing how the world’s richest hid money in offshore entities to avoid paying taxes. The scheme was organised through global law firm Mossack Fonseca, which was dissolved in the wake of the scandal in 2018.
Prosecutors in Germany have issued international arrest warrants for the two lawyers behind the firm--Jürgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca--on charges of accessory to tax evasion and forming a criminal organisation, according to media reports this week.
More than 10,000 companies set up through Mossack Fonseca were tied to Luxembourg. The Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) in 2017 fined nine financial institutions a total of €2m after investigations based on the leaks.
But a Luxembourg court recently sided with lawyers in the country cited in the papers who had been pressured by the tax authority to divulge information on their clients.
The bar association had slammed the practice as a “fishing expedition” and in its verdict the judges said the administration can only make requests for information specific to an ongoing investigation or audit.
The documents now transferred from Germany including emails, offshore company incorporation deeds, trust agreements, shareholder resolutions and copies of passports, Gramegna said.