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NIA urges authorities, journalists to probe 'Panama Papers' for Jamaican links

Published:Tuesday | April 5, 2016 | 4:11 PM
Executive director of the National Integrity Action, Professor Trevor Munroe

The National Integrity Action (NIA) is encouraging Jamaican law enforcement and journalists to probe whether there any Jamaican is involved in the international scandal known as the 'Panama Papers'.

The 'Panama Papers' refers to some 2,600 gigabytes of information which allege that a number of world leaders and other prominent persons used a law firm in Panama to develop off-shore companies to evade taxes.

So far, the scandal has led to the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson.

In a release, the NIA called on the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) and international law enforcers to find out if Jamaicans are involved in the scandal.

The NIA also said local media professionals should contact the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which is analysing the Panama Papers, "to identify and unmask any Jamaicans involved in this corruption amongst the scores of public officials, political leaders and billionaires connected to people in over two hundred countries."

The integrity group also renewed a call for the public exposure of what it calls "the secret beneficial owners" of off-shore companies who bid for Jamaican government contract."

The 'Panama Papers'  span 1977 to December last year.

In all, the details of 214,000 entities, including companies, trusts and foundations, were leaked.

The British Broadcasting Corporation says the scandal dwarfs the data released by the Wikileaks organisation in 2010, making it the biggest leak in history.