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No monies stashed in foreign tax havens- Jagdeo; wants govt, opposition to agree to joint probe

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

In the wake of the leaked Panama Papers that show that several politicians and other prominent persons have stashed monies overseas, Guyana’s former President Bharrat Jagdeo said Thursday that he has not hidden any of his wealth there or any other tax havens.

“The answer is ‘No’ or anywhere,” he told a news conference.

The leak of millions of files from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, has revealed that that company has allegedly helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.

Jagdeo also publicly called on the Guyana government to agree to approach International Police (InterPol) or any major international private investigation firm to probe whether politicians in and out of government have put some of their wealth in foreign tax havens or other interests. “I am prepared now to still cooperate with the government, not surreptitiously through SARU (State Asset Recovery Unit),” he said.

Now the Opposition Leader, Jagdeo recalled telling Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in the corridors of Parliament Building that the opposition and government should agree in the National Assembly to ask international investigators to report on all parliamentarians who have foreign bank accounts, shares in companies and properties. He  reasoned that if the National Assembly approves a motion to that effect, the International Community would not regard it as partisan.

He recalled that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) had taken a now defeated motion to the National Assembly for parliamentarians’ files to the Integrity Commission to be released.

Jagdeo questioned whether the coalition-led administration would be willing to support the PPPC’s proposal to hire an investigator to conduct the probe about past and current presidents and parliamentarians.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports that there are links to 12 current or former heads of state and government in the data, including dictators accused of looting their own countries.

More than 60 relatives and associates of heads of state and other politicians are also implicated. The files also reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.

Also mentioned are the brother-in-law of China’s President Xi Jinping; Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko; Argentina President Mauricio Macri; the late father of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and three of the four children of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The documents show that Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, had an undeclared interest linked to his wife’s wealth. He has now resigned. The scandal also touches football’s world governing body, Fifa.

Part of the documents suggest that a key member of Fifa’s ethics committee, Uruguayan lawyer Juan Pedro Damiani, and his firm provided legal assistance for at least seven offshore companies linked to a former Fifa vice-president arrested last May as part of the US inquiry into football corruption.

The leak has also revealed that more than 500 banks, including their subsidiaries and branches, registered nearly 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca. Lenders have denied allegations that they are helping clients to avoid tax by using complicated offshore arrangements.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Jagdeo full of crap! Why is he always trying to pull others in with him whenever he us confronted about probes into his finances or his government’s shenanigans?

    His government was in power for 12 years, so where will any former opposition politician get money from to stash in safe havens?

    What Jagdeo should tell us is whether he or any Guyanese he knows has money in Indian banks or Chinese banks, because the latter is where the corruption trail leads.

    • KassemB

      ‘What Jagdeo should tell us is whether he or any Guyanese he knows has money in Indian banks or Chinese banks, because the latter is where the corruption trail leads. ‘
      In return what your lot will offer?

      • Gtloyal

        Justice

  • KassemB

    ‘No monies stashed in foreign tax havens- Jagdeo; wants govt, opposition to agree to joint probe’
    APNU would want exemption for period 1964-1992

  • Emile_Mervin

    Chuck,

    The kind of money involved in safe havens cannot snare Guyanese we know doing regular, legal business. This scandal involves big time slime balls moving around money to avoid detection and taxation. Only a handful of Guyanese had that kind capacity; especially during the Jagdeo era. Nevertheless, let the net be widened.

  • Gtloyal

    “… Jagdeo; wants govt, opposition to agree to joint probe …”
    As the saying goes: There is a reason for the river to roar.
    Has this been agreed with Lil Joe already? You might as well tell us upfront what the result will be..

  • george wiltshire

    I am with those who are calling for the net to be widened. If we could go back to the very beginning. I want to know all the theives over the years who pretend they loved us. Even if you let someone .steal 20 odd million and you o ly took a few dollars. I want to know.

  • rudeo

    apnu bhais no even waiting for years….in months the cover blow off the pressure cooker

  • Col123

    What about the millions in audits? Anyone going to jail?..

  • Col123

    Peter…without taking sides here…that period shows a lot about our history…we had over 80% of Indians voting for the PNC during that period …and “daylight ain’t come yet”…

  • KassemB

    ‘People like you are the reason Guyana will never advance ‘
    Then why can’t Pres. Granger takes up Jagdeo suggestion of a joint probe?
    Put you money where your mouth is