Pandora Papers. Three Portuguese politicians identified in research on offshore accounts

Pandora Papers. Three Portuguese politicians identified in research on offshore accounts

Elton John, Ringo Starr, and Shakira were named in a new leak of private financial documents, known as the Pandora Papers, that offer a glimpse at the tangled web of offshore accounting and alleged tax avoidance schemes used by some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people.

The most recent investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists identifies also three Portuguese politicians with political “financial secrets” that the weekly Expresso says are Manuel Pinho – he served as Minister of Economy and Innovation in 2005-2009 in the majority government of José Sócrates -, Nuno Morais Sarmento – was Minister of the Presidency, with Durão Barroso (2002-2004), and Minister of State and of the Presidency, with Santana Lopes (2004-2005) – and Vitalino Canas – former deputy, lawyer, university professor and Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, under the leadership of António Guterres, between 1995 and 2002.

The consortium’s (ICIJ) new investigation, entitled “Pandora Papers”, reveals the “financial secrets” of 35 world leaders (current and former) and more than 330 politicians and civil servants, from 91 countries and territories, including Portugal.

As explained on the consortium’s official website, the 11.9 million records analyzed by journalists come from 14 offshore service companies and, therefore, are in the most varied formats, and this work corresponded to “an enormous challenge of data management”.

It should be recalled that in 2016, the Panama Papers investigation was released, which brought to the public the washing and concealment of heritage schemes. Information on more than 214,000 offshore companies in more than 200 countries and territories was investigated, and more than 240 Portuguese citizens or citizens residing in Portugal with direct or indirect connections to offshore companies created by the company Mossack Fonseca were targeted.