Bahamas leaks show urgent need for action on offshore scam - Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed tonight’s publication of the Bahamas’ corporate registry, which was leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and published on an online database by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament’s Panama Papers inquiry committee, said: “Just five months after the Panama Papers leak, we now have a new leak detailing the directors of 176,000 shell companies and trusts in the Bahamas, including several political figures.
“The latest leak has confirmed that the father of former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s used the Bahamas in the scheme revealed previously in the Panama leak. It has also implicated the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, and former EU Commissioner for Competition and the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.
“Corrupt politicians are not only preventing action against tax evasion and avoidance - they are personally and directly engaging in it.
“It’s been estimated that every single year, €133 billion of tax disappears into the offshore scam and that an astonishing €16.5 trillion in assets is held in tax havens such as the Bahamas.
“This affects us all. Every euro hidden by tax avoiders in an off-shore account is one that should have been used to fund healthcare, water, education and other vital public services.”
Carthy continued: “The Bahamas leak shows the need for urgent action on tax avoidance, tax evasion and money-laundering at the EU and international level. It shows the need for further steps towards transparency, for the full and automatic exchange of information between different jurisdictions, for the true beneficial owners of all companies and trusts to be recorded in a public registry, and for the international protection of whistle-blowers.
“We will be working on all of these issues in the European Parliament’s committee of inquiry into the Panama Papers, which begins its work next week and will enquire, I’m sure, into this latest leak of information from another tax haven.” ENDS