Denmark to pay for Panama Papers data

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 8 (UPI) — Denmark’s tax minister said the government will buy data leaked from Mossack Fonseca, the law firm involved in the Panama Papers scandal.

Taxation Minister Karsten Lauritzen said an anonymous offer to sell the data involving up to 600 Danish citizens was made to the country’s taxation authorities during the summer. BBC News reports the amount to be paid is about $1.4 million.

It is not known if the Danish government is buying the information from the original anonymous source of the law firm leak — known as “John Doe” — or from another party.

“We owe it to all Danish taxpayers who faithfully pay their taxes,” Lauritzen said in a statement, adding that Denmark “must take the necessary measures in order to catch tax evaders who hide fortunes in, for instance, Panama. Therefore we agreed that it is wise to buy the material.”

Lauritzen said there “may be fundamental problems associated with buying leaked information” — adding that Danish authorities “should be cautious.”

First revealed in April, the Panama Papers disclosed hidden assets of hundreds of politicians, current and former leaders, entertainment celebrities and sports stars. The documents revealed that more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts have been set up in tax havens worldwide.

About 11 million documents were leaked to a German newspaper, which shared the data with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Mossack Fonseca is accused of helping clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade taxes.

Though news outlets worldwide have published hundreds of stories related to the Panama Papers, the majority of the data that was leaked from Mossack Fonseca has not been released.

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