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    ICIJ identifies 175,000 offshore companies

    © Belga
    The shockwaves of the Panama Paper scandal continue.
    © Belga

    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published yesterday evening (Wednesday) data on more than 175,000 offshore companies. These were created between 1990 and 2016.

    The former European Competition Commissioner, the Dutchwoman, Neelie Kroes, is, in particular, severely lambasted for having been a director of an offshore company in the Bahamas from 2000 to 2009.

    She erred in not mentioning this in her declaration of interest. This was revealed yesterday by the websites of the daily newspapers Le Soir and De Tijd, as well as the weekly news magazine Knack.

    The European rules enforce a requirement upon commissioners to declare all managerial, director, supervisor or consultancy roles, which they have held over the course of the last ten years.

    Yet, in the annual declarations of interest made by Neelie Kroes, no mention was made of her role as a director of Mint Holdings Ltd, the Bahamas company in question, Le Soir underlines.

    Speaking through her barrister, Ms Kroes pleaded acting in “good faith” and lamented the occurrence of an “administrative error.”

    The Belgian journalists who were involved in the investigations of the ICIJ identified, in this so-called “Bahamas Leaks”, have identified several links with Belgium. These are all due to be published in the next few days.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times