US ‘reviewing’ Panama papers

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016,9:53 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | The US was reviewing the leaked ‘Panama papers’, which lifted the lid on the murky offshore financial dealings of a slew of politicians and celebrities across the world, including 500 from India, and will follow up on corruption linked to it, the Justice Department has said. We are aware of the reports and are reviewing them, US Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said yesterday.

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, Carr said.

Panama Papers exposes the offshore links of some of the world’s most prominent people, including 12 current and former world leaders, and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as USD2 billion through banks and shadow companies.

The White House did not had any specific comments in the leaked documents, but said the US has been a leading advocate of for increased transparency in the international financial system. We’ve seen the extensive reporting that’s been done on these leaked documents.

I don’t have a comment on the specific allegations that are included in those documents, but I can tell you that the US continues to be a leading advocate for increased transparency in the international financial system, and in working against illicit financial transactions and in fighting corruption, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

There has been a lot of talk over the course of the last year or so about how effective US sanctions that are imposed by the Treasury Department can be effective in advancing the national security interest of the United States, he said.

That’s true if we are isolating the Russians because of their violation of the territorial integrity of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, or increasing isolating and pressuring the North Korean regime to give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons, or in targeting ISILs financial operations, he said in response to a question on the leaked Panama papers.

That’s why the US is a leading advocate of greater transparency in international financial transactions. Greater transparency allows to root out corruption and to fight efforts to get around US sanctions that have been put in place, he argued.

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