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US reviewing 'Panama Paper' revelations

AFP | 2016-04-04 20:33:33.0
The website of the Mossack Fonseca law firm is pictured through a large format lens in Bad Honnef, Germany April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Image by: WOLFGANG RATTAY / REUTERS

The Justice Department is reviewing the so-called Panama Papers and will follow up on wrongdoing or corruption linked to the US, an agency spokesman said Monday.

"We are aware of the reports and are reviewing them," Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of these alleged documents, the US Department of Justice takes very seriously all credible allegations of high level, foreign corruption that might have a link to the United States or the US financial system."

The comments came one day after the release of some 11.5 million documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, concerning some 214,000 offshore entities. The leaked documents came from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices in more than 35 countries.

The revelations have left powerful figures from countries including Russia, China, Argentina and Iceland scrambling to explain apparent connections to offshore financial vehicles that look to have been set up to hide assets.

France, Spain and Australia all opened legal probes Monday.

Jubilee USA Network, a faith-based anti-poverty group, called for Congress to prevent the establishment of anonymous companies in the United States.

"These companies fuel corruption, poverty, human trafficking and armed conflict," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA.

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