Australia targets 100 taxpayers in Panama Papers investigation

Added 6th September 2016

Australia’s Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) is to contact more than 100 taxpayers in response to its investigation into tax evasion and crime in the Panama Papers.

Australia targets 100 taxpayers in Panama Papers investigation

The government’s revenue and financial services minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, and the justice minister, Michael Keenan, also revealed in a statement on Tuesday that more than A$2.5bn (£1.4bn, $1.9bn, €1.7bn) of offshore funds are linked to the 1,000 Australians identified in the Panama Papers.

The SFCT made 15 unannounced access visits in Victoria and Queensland, and executed three search warrants following analysis of the leaked information, it added.

O’Dwyer said: “This week of action is the result of months of collaboration with domestic agencies to share intelligence and information in relation to individuals named in the data leak.

“Our authorities have built a profile of more than 1,000 Australian taxpayers identified in the leak, and are reviewing intelligence provided to us by other tax jurisdictions. We have detected taxpayers and advisers linked to tax evasion, illicit funds flows, and corruption.

She added: “While offshore structures and trusts do have a genuine purpose for many individuals and corporations, we believe that many of these structures and trusts are being used to evade tax, avoid corporate responsibility, disguise and hide unexplained wealth, facilitate criminal activity, and to launder the proceeds of crime.”

Keenan said through the SFCT, Australia was well placed to deal with this and as part of the action this week a search warrant was executed “on a residential premise in Queensland in relation to allegations of serious tax evasion, fraud and money laundering”.

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Mark Battersby

Editor, International Adviser

International Adviser

Mark Battersby is editor of International Adviser. He is also programme director for International Adviser events in strategic expat locations around the world, and its flagship FundLinks conference in London. Mark joined Last Word Media in February 2012, having previously worked at Citywire, Interactive Investor International, and FT Business.

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