Panama Papers: the “Belgian Madoff”, the Santens family and Léon-François Deferm also cited
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    Panama Papers: the “Belgian Madoff”, the Santens family and Léon-François Deferm also cited

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Stéphane Bleus, is known as the “Belgian Madoff” for having put together a Ponzi pyramid scheme, and sent around thirty million euros up in smoke.
    In 2009 he created a Panama company, via Mossack Fonseca, and the intermediary of the bank Pasch Trust & Ltd. So reveal Le Soir, Knack, L’Echo and MO* on Friday, on the basis of the Panama Papers. Léon-François Deferm and the Santens family also figure amongst the new Belgian names divulged as part of “the largest data leak in the history of journalism”.

    The newspaper L’Echo had already revealed in 2014 that Stéphane Bleus had created in 2012 a grand-ducal company, the shareholders of which were two offshore companies based in Panama. However, from 2009, Mr Bleus, accused of fraud, money laundering and illegally practising the profession of financial intermediary, had set up the company Protheus Associates in Panama.

    This offshore company operated for a renewable three-year period of three years, but it was wound up in January 2012. Currently on conditional release pending trial, Stéphane Bleus has not reacted to this information being released.

    The so-called Panama Papers also indicate that Léon-François Deferm, accused in the Intradel case, created a company in 2010 in the British Virgin Islands, which, amongst other things, transferred 160,000 euros to his account in 2012. Funds were then transferred to his close relations.

    The Santens family, which is active in the textile sector, is also being severely criticised. The family was subject to court proceedings between 2008 and 2015 for tax evasion, before bringing the latter to an end through a settlement procedure for a total of 4.5 million euros. The Panama Papers reveal three offshore structures set up in the Seychelles and the British Virgin Islands by Santens family members.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)