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Yle: No top-ranking Finnish politicians in Panama Papers leak

Yle journalists from its MOT and Swedish-language Spotlight investigative reporting programmes have so far found no evidence of high-ranking Finnish politicians in documents leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossak Fonseca. Yle was part of a cross-border team of journalists sifting through millions of documents leaked to expose tax evasion taking place on a global scale.

asianajotoimiston kyltti
Kansainvälinen toimittajajärjestö ICIJ on julkaissut tietoja yli 200 000 veroparatiisissa toimivasta yrityksestä. Tiedot ovat peräisin panamalaisesta asianajotoimistosta Mossack Fonsecasta. Torstaina veroparatiiseista keskusteltiin eduskunnassa järjestetyssä tilaisuudessa. Image: Rex Features / AOP

Yle’s MOT and Spotlight teams have so far identified some 300 individuals, who are either Finnish nationals of who have resided in Finland, in the list of names leaked from confidential documents owned by the Panamanian law firm Mossak Fonseca.

Yle MOT journalist was the only Finnish journalist working with a global team of investigative reporters to review the masses of leaked information.

So far a systematic data search of the vast amount of material has not yielded the names of any high-ranking Finnish politicians such as ministers or members of parliament or any other senior public officials.

Entrepreneurs, accountants and athletes

The review did however turn up the names of many small business owners, legal firms, bank officials, investors, real estate owners, accountants and athletes. The entrepreneurs operate or have operated in sectors such as IT, construction, engineering, machinery and equipment or even the music industry.

These Finnish residents have had companies, accounts or other contacts or have acted as intermediaries for the Panamanian law firm Mossak Fonseca, starting from the 1990s all the way up to last year. Mossak Fonseca is the world’s largest legal advisor providing tax avoidance services.

MOT reporters are continuing their perusal of the Panama Papers and will reveal the names of companies and private individuals with a high standing in society or who otherwise have considerable financial clout.

It is not illegal to set up a company in a tax haven, however it is considered illegal to withhold declaration of taxable income to local tax officials or to use such a company as a front for illegal activities such as money laundering.

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