Panama Papers: Former director of Belgacom involved in off-shore companies
Thursday, 07 April 2016
The former CEO of Belgacom Didier Bellens was director of two off-shore companies based in the British Virgin Islands. This appears in the “Panama Papers” disclosed to Belgian newspapers Le Soir, Knack, De Tijd and MO*.
Bellens passed away last February. According to a fax sent to Mossack Fonseca from an asset manager in Gibraltar he was director of Calpe and Calpe Investment Management in August 2007, wrote Le Soir on Thursday (7 April).
Mossack Fonseca is the secretive Panama-based law firm that is implicated in the leak of financial documents with helping foreign citizens in establishing shell companies in tax havens and avoiding paying local taxes.
According to media reports, the leaked Panama Papers consist of more than 11.5 million documents, involving nearly 215 000 companies and 14 153 clients of Mossack Fonseca. About half of the companies were set up in the Virgin Islands.
Among those managing these two off-shore companies was Giovanni Paganini Marana, a trader who lost about 120 million euros belonging to customers before committing suicide in September 2012.
Another person, who is not mentioned and who was sentenced in September 2012 to 900,000 pounds penalty by a London court for “market manipulation, also appears in the chart of the two offshore companies.
Didier Bellens resigned from the two companies in June 2015, after leaving as head of Belgacom (now Proximus) in November 2013. Contacted by Le Soir, Proximus claims never to have been informed by Mr. Bellens about these activities.
The lawyer of Bellen’s family later informed media that he had accepted to manage the two companies at the request of a close friend and never was remunerated for it.