Panama leaks link FIFA officials to offshore companies
FIFA has initiated an investigation into a member of its ethics committee after a major information leak that forces FIFA to once again deal with allegations of high ranking officials involved in dubious businesses.
Millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm specialised in setting up offshore companies, reveal how top politicians, state leaders, sports stars and FIFA officials are connected to and have used offshore companies to benefit economically from the tax and privacy laws in place in Panama and other offshore locations.
German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)writes that FIFA’s ethics committee has launched a preliminary investigation into Uruguayan ethics committee member, Juan Pedro Damiani, based on the Panama leaks.
Damiani’s law firm has allegedly been managing up to 400 shell companies through Mossack Fonseca and some of these companies have been used for transferring bribes for FIFA members, writes SZ. Among other things, the Panama papers show that Damiani’s firm set up companies for three of the men charged with corruption by the FBI in May 2015 in relation to the FIFA scandal: Hugo and Mariano Jinkis and former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo.
“Damiani’s law firm not only helped set up shell companies for the parties charged with paying bribes, but also for those who allegedly received them. Starting at end of the 1990s, he worked for Eugenio Figueredo, 84, the former FIFA vice president,” writes SZ and adds that Damiani has failed to inform FIFA about his connections to the defendants.
Also Michel Platini and Jérôme Valcke are among the names disclosed in the Panama papers. The investigation into the leaked papers has been going on for a year and is a collaboration between more than 100 media partners and is said to be among the biggest leaks of inside information in history. Read more about the large investigation here: https://panamapapers.icij.org/