5 Apr 2016

Samoa High Commission involved in shell companies

1:59 pm on 5 April 2016

Leaked documents show Samoa's High Commission in Australia was involved in setting up shell companies through Panama.

The offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City.

The offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City. Photo: AFP

Documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have been given to several media organisations and show the process for setting up shell companies in offshore jurisdictions, and the involvement of Samoa's mission.

The High Commission said it was required to forward documents for processing only, while notarisation and legalisation of documents were done by Samoa's authorities at home.

The leaked documents show Mossack Fonseca had been involved in administering offshore firms in a number of countries, including New Zealand and Niue.

Most of the activity has centred on British territories, but also includes the US state of Nevada.

Intermediaries used by the Panamanian firm are shown to be based in a range of countries, including Hong Kong, Switzerland, Britain and Luxembourg.

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