13 Apr 2016

Mossack Fonseca headquarters raided

The headquarters of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have been raided by police following a leak of more than 11 million documents that showed how wealthy people, including politicians and world leaders, used the firm to evade tax.

Panama City Kamil Hajek

The firm’s offices in Panama City were searched yesterday by police as well as officials from an organised crime unit. The BBC reports that officers set up a perimeter around the headquarters while prosecutors entered the offices to search for documents.

The attorney general's office said the aim was 'to obtain documentation linked to the information published in news articles that establish the use of the firm in illicit activities.' The statement added that searches would also take place at subsidiaries of the firm.

In the UK, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has requested that several law firms, including Holman Fenwick Willan, Simmons & Simmons and Child & Child, clarify whether they are linked to Mossack Fonseca.

Legal Business reports that a spokesperson for the SRA said the regulator was asking for assurances that the firms in question ‘have looked into the matter and have acted appropriately.’ It is understood the SRA has also been in contact with the Financial Conduct Authority and other regulators about the leaks.

The news followed an announcement that the FCA had written to banks and other financial companies to carry out a similar review.