DAVID Cameron’s father, Lionel Messi and the former Spanish king’s sister are among those named in an unprecedented leak of confidential documents that show how the rich and powerful hide their wealth.
An unknown source leaked 11.5 million documents yesterday from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which, for a yearly fee, helps clients incorporate their wealth into offshore accounts.
According to the so-called Panama Papers, the former Spanish King’s sister, Pilar de Borbon, became president of a Panama-registered company, Delantara Financiera SA in 1974.
On the same date, her husband took on the role of the company’s secretary-treasurer and director – but the company was only dissolved in June 2014, the same month that King Juan Carlos abdicated from the throne.
Others named include footballer Lionel Messi – who is already facing tax evasion charges in Spain – as it was revealed he owns a shell company with his father (Mega Star Enterprises), which was previously unknown to Spanish investigators.
Spanish film maker Pedro Almodovar is reported to have opened a business with his brother called the Glen Valley Corporation in the British Virgin Islands in 1991, coinciding with the box office success of his early director years.
His brother Agustin Almodovar said: “Both my brother and I have no comments to make in this respect. In any case, before the possible insinuations that might come about from the information you have, we wish to state tha both Pedro and I are up-to-date with all our tax obligations.”
Micaela Solis-Beaumont – the wife of Spain’s European Commission’s Climate Action & Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete – was revealed to have been empowered to approve transactions of Rinconada Investments Group SA, which was a Panama company registered in 2005, while her husband held public office.
A spokesman for Mr Canete said: “Arias Canete’s declarations were in full complaince with the code of conduct for members of the European Parliament in the area of economic interests.”
While 14% of documents implicate Spaniards, more than half of the companies registered with the Panama law firm are in British-administered tax havens, as well as in the UK itself.
The 2.6 terabytes of documents revealed that the British Prime Minister’s late father, Ian Cameron, used the firm’s services to shield his investment fund, Blairmore Holdings Inc.
A 2006 prospectus for Mr Cameron’s company said of the fund: “it should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the United Kingdom for UK taxation purposes.”
With the service provided being technically legal, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said being named in the leak does not suggest illegal activity.