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Britain asks for leaked Panama Papers, says will act swiftly

Reuters , Monday 4 Apr 2016
Cameron
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (Photo: Reuters)
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The British government asked on Monday for a copy of leaked data on the clients of a Panama-based law firm so it can examine the information and act on any possible tax evasion.

The leak, which reveals the details of hundreds of thousands of clients in multiple jurisdictions of law company Mossack Fonseca, could be embarrassing for Prime Minister David Cameron, who has spoken out against tax evasion and tax avoidance.

His late father, Ian Cameron, is mentioned in the more than 11.5 million documents from the files, alongside some members of his Conservative Party in the upper house of parliament, former Conservative lawmakers and party donors, British media said.

Cameron's office declined to comment.

The documents emerged in an investigation published on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 100 other global news organisations.

Jennie Granger, director general of enforcement and compliance at HM Revenue and Customs, said the government had received "a great deal of information on offshore companies, including in Panama, from a wide range of sources, which is currently the subject of intensive investigation".

"We have asked the ICIJ to share the leaked data that they have obtained with us. We will closely examine this data and will act on it swiftly and appropriately," she said in a statement.

The government said Britain had brought in more than 2 billion pounds ($2.84 billion) from offshore tax evaders since Cameron's Conservatives took office in 2010 and that it was clear "the days of hiding money offshore are gone".

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