Photo above: Bahamas Financial Services Minister, Hope Strachan. Photo credit: Bahamas government.
NASSAU, Bahamas, Apr. 5, (CMC) – The Bahamas government, today, described as “disconcerting”, the so-called “Panama Papers”, which alleged that a number of world leaders and other prominent people used a law firm in Panama to develop off-shore companies to evade taxes.
The leaked documents, from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama, reveal that several Caribbean countries were used in establishing the offshore companies.
In a statement, Financial Services Minister, Hope Strachan, said the leak of the documents from Mossack Fonseca “is disconcerting.
“This leak challenges the work and validity of international financial centres. We are following the development of this investigation closely,” she said, adding that “the Bahamas is a compliant jurisdiction, operating under international regulatory standards”.
“We continue to ensure; we do everything to remain compliant and to sustain our reputation as a premier financial centre. We consistently demonstrate our commitment to international tax transparency, as well as the anti-money laundering and the countering of financial terrorism initiatives,” she added.
Strachan stated that “it must be reiterated that the Bahamas has been deemed compliant by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
“Further, the Bahamas has committed to the implementation of the automatic exchange of information/OECD CRS using a bilateral approach that is fully endorsed by the OECD. We are also fully compliant with the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
“We continue to ensure that we are a clean and reputable jurisdiction in which to conduct financial services. The financial services industry is a key component to our economy and we take, very seriously, anything that would compromise the integrity of our financial services sector,” she added.
The first casualty of the leaked documents is Iceland’s embattled Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who tendered his resignation, today, in the wake of a mounting political crisis over his family’s offshore investments.