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Panama: President Varela 'willing to cooperate' over Panama Papers leak02:36

Panama: President Varela 'willing to cooperate' over Panama Papers leak

Panama, Colon
April 4, 2016 at 22:13 GMT +00:00 · Published

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela expressed his government's willingness to cooperate with with any investigation concerning the Panama Papers leak during a press conference in Colon, Monday.

"The publications talk about a specific law firm in our country, they don’t talk about our country or our financial centre or other law firms. In a press release we sent yesterday, we said that we are willing to cooperate in any investigations regarding these publications," Varela said.

"Today I can say with my head held high that we are here willing to cooperate with any government and with any investigation. What we will do is defend the image of Panama; that we are a noble and hardworking country, and the success of Panama is because of its hardworking people," he added.

The Panamanian leader went on to say that he welcomed "all publications and investigations that protect the financial system of Panama in the world so that it cannot be used to commit any crimes," before adding: "This kind of challenge fortifies us as a country because it confirms our commitment to work for the transparency of Panama’s financial system."

Released on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and various news organisations, the Panama Papers include a large amount of data exposing widespread international corruption. According to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which was one of the news organisations that leaked the papers, the data "provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world's rich and famous: from politicians, FIFA officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes."

The data provided in the leak centres around the activities of Mossack Fonseca over a period from the 1970s until spring 2016. There is believed to be an estimated 11.5 million documents in the Panama Papers, making it the largest leak of its kind. The information provided in the leak purportedly exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders as well as unveiling data on the financial activities of 128 other politicians and public officials from a number of countries.

Panama: President Varela 'willing to cooperate' over Panama Papers leak02:36
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Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela expressed his government's willingness to cooperate with with any investigation concerning the Panama Papers leak during a press conference in Colon, Monday.

"The publications talk about a specific law firm in our country, they don’t talk about our country or our financial centre or other law firms. In a press release we sent yesterday, we said that we are willing to cooperate in any investigations regarding these publications," Varela said.

"Today I can say with my head held high that we are here willing to cooperate with any government and with any investigation. What we will do is defend the image of Panama; that we are a noble and hardworking country, and the success of Panama is because of its hardworking people," he added.

The Panamanian leader went on to say that he welcomed "all publications and investigations that protect the financial system of Panama in the world so that it cannot be used to commit any crimes," before adding: "This kind of challenge fortifies us as a country because it confirms our commitment to work for the transparency of Panama’s financial system."

Released on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and various news organisations, the Panama Papers include a large amount of data exposing widespread international corruption. According to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which was one of the news organisations that leaked the papers, the data "provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world's rich and famous: from politicians, FIFA officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes."

The data provided in the leak centres around the activities of Mossack Fonseca over a period from the 1970s until spring 2016. There is believed to be an estimated 11.5 million documents in the Panama Papers, making it the largest leak of its kind. The information provided in the leak purportedly exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders as well as unveiling data on the financial activities of 128 other politicians and public officials from a number of countries.

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