Finnish Finmin wants police and taxman to have Panama papers

Finland’s Finance Minister Alexander Stubb has proposed that Yle hand over the so-called Panama Papers, which contain details of offshore accounts set up by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, to the police and the tax administration. Yle has dismissed the suggestion, saying it does not have the authority to give up the data.

Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb Image: Yle

Yle has declined to hand over leaked documents relating to offshore bank accounts to the police or tax authorities after a suggestion from the Finance Minister Alexander Stubb. The National Coalition Party leader had urged Yle to hand over the documents so that the police and tax officials could pore over them to try and uncover wrongdoing.

The so-called Panama Papers contain details of offshore bank accounts established by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca on behalf of clients from around the world. They were originally leaked to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and then passed on to other media organisations worldwide via the International Committee of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Yle obtained the documents from the ICIJ but does not have the authority to pass them on further.

"Yle has access to the information but not the right to give them to others," said Yle’s head of creative content, Ville Vilén. "The ICIJ has indicated that it will publish background info for different countries, which will include the names of the founders of companies in tax havens."

Vilén added that Yle’s ethical guidelines mean that the company cannot simply hand over material its journalists have gathered.

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