The Panama papers investigation has found that 388 branches of offshore companies have or have had retail property in Belgium, several Belgian newspapers reported on Saturday. The papers investigating the Panama case include Knack, De Tijd, Le Soir and MO.
Journalists compared tax records at the Mossack Fonseca Legal office in Panama (nicknamed the Panama papers) and the Banque Carrefour des entreprises (Business records office). They learned that more than 300 branches of offshore companies have or have had retail property in Belgium. These are mainly in the Antwerp (46), Uccle (27), Brussels (26), Ixelles (23), Knokke (21) and Brasschaat (15) provinces.
Panama (26), the British Virgin Islands (92), the Dutch Antilles and the Bahamas (11) are the main places these branches are registered in.
Le Soir gave the example of Carine V. She increased the capital of her offshore company registered in the Seychelles, the Sidney Group, by registering a house in Lasnes, valued at 595,000 euros, through it in June 2014. There is also Jean D. de Mettet, in the Namur province, who mandated using his offshore company Keltic Investments when he sold a house and 22 acres of land.