‘Irreversible damage’: Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca to close
The firm says it will shut down operations, but a smaller group will continue working to address requests from authorities, and other public and private groups.
The law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers leak is to close down.
Mossack Fonseca and Company was established in Panama City in 1977 by Ramón Fonseca Mora and Jürgen Mossac.
The so-called Panama Papers, which consist of millions of documents stolen from Mossack Fonseca and leaked to the media in April 2016, provoked a global scandal after showing how the rich and powerful used offshore corporations to evade taxes.
“Reputational deterioration, the media campaign, the financial consequences and irregular actions by some Panamanian authorities have caused irreparable damage, resulting in the total ceasing of public operations at the end of this month”, Mossack Fonseca said in a statement.
It added that it would “continue to call for justice” and assist authorities to “demonstrate that no crime has been committed”. Swiss lawyer Christoph Zollinger later joined the firm, which was the world’s fourth-largest provider of offshore services when the scandal broke. It is to be recalled that more than 11 million documents confirming the connection of officials, businessmen and athletes from more than 50 countries with the activities of Panama offshore companies were published, reports Reuters. More than half were registered in British tax havens – as well as in the UK. At its peak the company maintained 40 offices around the world.
Varela has denied that he took any money from Odebrecht.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shared the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting with McClatchy and the Miami Herald for their reporting on the Panama Papers.