Dutch companies implicated in Panama Papers tax evasion scandal
Two Dutch postbox firms are implicated in the so-called "Panama Papers" - the name given to a large-scale international investigation into documents leaked from a Panama based legal consultancy. The documents revealed letterbox companies used by politicians, businessmen and sports personalities worldwide to evade taxes.
The leaked documents revealed that Panamanian legal consultancy Mossack Fonseca helped a large number of billionaires from around the world channel their money into tax havens, which means that they hardly paid any taxes. At this stage it is unclear how many people are involved.
It now seems that at least two Dutch letterbox companies - companies that establish themselves in tax friendly countries with only a postal address, while conducting business in other countries - are mentioned in the Panama Papers, according to the Financieele Dagblad. The FD and Dutch newspaper Trouw are involved in investigating the Papers.
According to FD, the two Dutch letterbox companies are "sports marketing companies named in an indictment of the American judiciary against the high bosses of FIFA". It is believed that they played a major role in payments to sports marketing companies in Latin America. "So it is suspected that the Netherlands was the linchpin in illegal payments, bribes, to senior FIFA people."
The Netherlands is also mentioned in the Panama Papers in other ways. Rich Dutch also make use of the structures mentioned to evade taxes. And Dutch notaries, banks and trust companies are willing to set up such structures.
More information on exactly who is involved is expected later this week.