Article from Mexican Labor News & Analysis
Published by UE International.

Date published: April 2016

Web version:

Panama Papers Implicate Rich Mexicans; Gov’t to Investigate 33

The Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT) will investigate 33 Mexican businesspeople whose activities are called into question due to the release of the Panama Papers. Named in the papers were a total of 2,232 Mexicans, 774 of whom had current accounts and 43 of whom each had balances of over $5 million in Swiss banks.

The Panama Papers refers to more than 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, which were acquired by an unknown individual or group called “John Doe” who began to release them to German newspaper in 2015. On April 3 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 100 collaborating international news organizations, including the Mexican Proceso and Aristegui Noticias, published the information.

Mossack Fonseca worked with 214,000 off-shore companies. While moving money off-shore may not be illegal, it might well be done to hide elicit funds, to launder money, or to avoid paying taxes.

Among those Mexicans under investigation are Emilio Lozoya, the former head of the state-owned Mexican Oil Company (PEMEX) who denies any relationship to Mossack Fonseca, and Juan Armando Hinojosa, who received many contracts from President Enrique Peña Nieto when he was governor of Mexico State and also built a $7 million mansion for Peña Nieto’s wife Angélica Rivera.

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