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National Treasury weighs in on Panama Papers

Wednesday, 06 April 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Sasha Planting
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Author: Sasha Planting (Moneyweb)

National Treasury has weighed in on the Panama Papers announcing that its relevant agencies, specifically SA Revenue Service, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the SA Reserve Bank, will investigate the reports without fear or favour.

A year ago some 11.5 million files from the database of Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca were leaked to a German newspaper which passed them on to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ then shared them with a large network of international media partners.

In South Africa, the nephew of president Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, has been linked to a company called Caprikat that is mentioned in the leaked papers.

Treasury points out that holding funds in an offshore bank is by itself not illegal, as long as the necessary approvals and disclosures have been made to the relevant authorities. Funds in an offshore account may contravene exchange control regulations and tax laws if the source of the funds has not been disclosed to the appropriate authorities.

The world is becoming smaller for those who wish to hide their offshore assets and avoid paying their taxes due to the South African fiscus. Last year a trove of almost 60 000 leaked files provided details on over 100 000 HSBC clients and their bank accounts. Treasury notes that this type of information provides the basis for authorities to act against those who illegally move funds out of SA.

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