Latest World News: Exposed and closed, law firm Panama Papers has outsourced its

Mossack Fonseca was forced to close in 2018 after its 11.5 million internal records studied by a global consortium that included India’s The Indian Express were leaked.

panama papers, MOSSACK FONSECA SIGNS THE DEAL A FEW DAYS AFTER THE WORLD EXHIBITIONOn April 22 last year, the residence and office of Georges Kochi were raided by ED. Evidence on his computers, sources said, revealed the extent of his ties to Mossack Fonseca.

EVEN after coming under global scrutiny, Mossack Fonseca, the controversial law firm exposed in the 2016 Panama Papers investigation as a hub of illicit global money flows, outsourced its offshore transactions to a network of companies linked to an Indian citizen based in Kerala, The Indian Express has learned.

Under the direction of the Enforcement Directorate (DE), investigative agencies including the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Income Tax (IT) tracked Chartered Accountant Mathew George who allegedly carried out third party collections for Mossack Fonseca and his clients under agreements signed just weeks after the World Expo.

On April 22 last year, the residence and office of Georges Kochi were raided by ED. Evidence on his computers, sources said, revealed the extent of his ties to Mossack Fonseca.

Mossack Fonseca was forced to close in 2018 after its 11.5 million internal records studied by a global consortium that included India’s The Indian Express were leaked.

The officials said that international financial and enforcement agencies will soon be informed about the Kerala affair since Mossack Fonsecas’ clients are located all over the world.

During ED’s searches of Georges’ premises, a master list of 599 Mossack Fonseca clients was recovered, with payments being made through the bank accounts of one of the four companies, all registered by George.

These companies are: Star Sight General Contracting LLC; StarSight Trading Limited; Samag Resources Ltd (all in UAE); and M&A Resources Ltd (Hong Kong).

By the way, two years after the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Panama Papers investigationthe International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its partners including The Indian Express published a sequel in 2018, The Panama Papers 2, which reported panic at Mossack Fonseca headquarters.

The files studied in the context of the Panama Papers 2 link dozens of offshore entities formed by the Panamanian law firm to companies run by George.

An investigation by The Indian Express reveals that as many as 489 records are linked to George, many of which are copies of banking transactions with Mossack Fonseca clients.

Significantly, these documents include the outsourcing agreement between representatives of George and Mossack Fonsecas signed on July 6, 2016.

It states that, based on this agreement, Star Sight Trading is authorized to receive payments/funds made by customers in favor of MF (Mossack Fonseca) Treasurer Ltd.

The data also shows documents of Star Sight Trading being incorporated a few days later on July 22, 2016, as an offshore company under Ras Al Khaimah regulations.

Asked about these links, George, speaking to The Indian Express of Kochi, said: I am not denying my links with Mossack Fonseca and I was earning 1% commission for every in and out remittance. The case lasted about a year. But Star Sight Trading is registered in the United Arab Emirates and there is no investigation in this country. So why should Indian agencies be involved?

The list of 599 entities recovered by the ED, reviewed by The Indian Express, shows transactions with dozens of offshore companies or individuals in countries including the Isle of Man, Lebanon, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg and the United States. All these transactions relate to the year 2017.

The investigation into the Georges business network takes on a broader dimension with the recovery of investment custody agreements again using Star Sight Trading’s bank accounts in Abu Dhabi. According to the investigation, these agreements related to temporary holding and other investments by channeling funds. George, however, denied that any such agreements were signed by him.

There is an agreement under the scanner with an American citizen to invest 200 million dollars and another with a citizen of Venezuela to invest 3.36 million dollars. An initial analysis shows that there is a list of 17 beneficiary companies that have transacted with Star Sight Trading in places such as Belize, El Salvador, Samoa, New York and Panama.

With citizens and entities from so many countries named in the recovered evidence, the ED is also likely to launch a transnational investigation into the case.

The Indian Express (P) Ltd

First published on: 2023-07-25 at 04:00 IST

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.