Friday, March 03, 2017

Good riddance

Corrupt Panamanian money-laundering enablers Mossack-Fonseca have quit New Zealand:

The law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal has quit New Zealand.


"I'm not aware of Mossack Fonseca currently being active in New Zealand," Roger Thompson of accountancy firm Bentley's New Zealand said in an email.

Mr Thompson, who was mentioned in the Panama Papers, was an agent for the Panamanian law firm in New Zealand.

"We are not currently providing any services to Mossack Fonseca. We do not currently act for any foreign trust clients that have come through any association with Mossack Fonseca," he said.

Bentley's New Zealand partner Roger Thompson said the firm was not providing any services to Mossack Fonseca.

Mossack Fonseca has not responded to a request for comment.

It de-registered its local offshoot, Mossack Fonseca New Zealand, as a company in August last year.

I guess the prospect of even partial transparency to the IRD was enough to ruin their business model. After all, you can't launder money or cheat on taxes when the government is watching.

But while we've run these Panamanian crooks out of town, someone else could always set up shop, and there's plenty of local lawyers wanting a slice of the money-laundering pie. We need to strengthen our trust transparency regime to include public registers to put all of them out of business, permanently.