Panama Papers law firm bosses arrested and denied bail

Added 15th February 2017

The founders of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, have been arrested and are facing money laundering charges.

Panama Papers law firm bosses arrested and denied bail

After two days of questioning, Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack were detained by prosecutors in Panama on 9 February.

The pair have been denied bail as they have been deemed flight risks.  

They are being held as part of a probe into corruption and bribery allegations involving Brazilian construction group Odebrecht, which has admitted paying $1bn (£800m, €943m) in bribes to obtain contracts in 12 different countries, reports the BBC.

There is information which “allegedly identifies the Panamanian firm as a criminal organisation that is dedicated to hiding assets or money from suspicious origins,” Panama’s attorney general, Kenia Porcell, said.

Legal defence

Their defence lawyers confirmed that they will remain in custody, reports The Guardian.

Elías Solano, for Fonseca, dismissed evidence against his client as “weak” and said: “It does not seem too difficult to show the lack of foundation to these allegations.”

Mossack’s lawyer Marlene Guerra told reporters he had been refused bail because “there is a risk of flight from the country, due to the financial means of our clients”.

Office closures

Mossack Fonseca closed one of its two offices in Luxembourg days before founders Mossack and Mora were arrested, reports local newspaper Luxemburger Wort.

According to the Luxembourg business registry, Mossack Fonseca S.à.r.l was dissolved on 2 February 2017.

The law firm’s second office, Mossfon Luxembourg S.à.r.l, is understood to still be open.  

Following the Panama Papers leak, Mossack Fonseca closed its offices in Jersey, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, with the law firm stating that it was part of its strategy to “consolidate the office network”.

Panama Papers

Mossack Fonseca came to worldwide attention in April 2016 when around 11.5 million documents were leaked revealing the offshore holdings of politicians, athletes, and public officials.  

The international law firm has denied wrongdoing and said it was the victim of a computer hack.

It also maintained that the information leaked was being misrepresented.

Visitor's Comments Add your comment

Add Your Comment

We won't publish your address

About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 


Why you should care about the German elections

Why you should care about the German elections...

You may be forgiven for not staying up late this Sunday to watch the final results of Germany’s parliamentary elections come in. While chancellor Merkel is sure to win, the scale of her victory is likely...




Canada Life International Limited
Canada Life International...

Canada Life International Canada Life House,...



IA International Portfolio Bond Forum Glasgow 2017
IA International Portfolio Bond Forum Glasgow 2017

Thursday 16 November
The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

IA Future Advisory Forum Dubai 2017
IA Future Advisory Forum Dubai 2017

Wednesday 22 November
The Shangri-la Hotel, Dubai

IA Best Practice Adviser Awards Middle East 2017
IA Best Practice Adviser Awards Middle East 2017

Wednesday 22 November
The Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Sponsored Content

Investment Strategy