SEVERAL Filipinos were included in the so-called Paradise Papers—one of the world’s largest leak of financial documents showing how personalities manage to keep from paying higher taxes—according to a report from the Philippine Star.
The recent leak detailed how some politicians and business personalities use complex structures to launder money, fend off sanctions, and evade tax.
The controversial documents were first obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and were shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ is now overseeing the investigation on the leak.
The Paradise Papers is composed of 13.4 million files, covering seven decades from 1950 to 2016. Most of its leaked documents were from offshore law firm Appleby, and other 19 tax havens.
In a statement, Appleby, one of the world’s most prestigious offshore law firms, insisted that it “does not tolerate illegal behavior.”
“Appleby has thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations and we are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients,” it said.
“We refute any allegations that may suggest otherwise and we would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorised investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities, it added.
Having “researched the ICIJ’s allegations,” Appleby said it believed the allegations are “unfounded and based on a lack of understanding of the legitimate and lawful structures used in the offshore sector.”
There are reportedly 169 Filipinos and major entities included in the list.
The ICIJ, meanwhile, emphasized that “there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts.”
“We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly,” the group said. (Dana Sioson/AJPress)