World leaders and billionaire businessmen weren’t the only ones to use Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to cover their tracks, as the list of the firm's clients also seems to include secret agents from across the world, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Tuesday.
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“Secret agents and their informants have made wide use of the company’s services,” the paper reported. “Agents have opened shell companies to conceal their activities Among them are close intermediaries of the CIA.”
The information was obtained from the Panama Papers – leaked documents of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, a leader in creating shell companies that often serve to conceal ownership of assets. The leaked files, which were obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with Haaretz and other media organizations, provide a glimpse of international dealings spanning different areas and industries.
According to the paper, the company's clients include "current or former high-ranking officials of the secret services of at least three countries Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Rwanda.” Among those listed, the paper noted, is former Saudi intelligence chief Kamal Adham, who "spent the 1970s as one of the CIA's key intermediaries" in the Middle East.
Haaretz has reported that some 600 Israeli companies and 850 Israeli shareholders are listed in the Panama Papers. Among those is Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, who made his fortune in diamonds and mining, and is mentioned more than 200 times in the Panama Papers. Haaretz also reported that the documents show that Tareq Abbas, the son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, held shares worth nearly $1 million in a company associated with the PA.
The Panama Papers expose, among other things, firms controlled by the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the king of Saudi Arabia and the children of the president of Azerbaijan registered in tax havens. They refer to companies and individuals that have been on a United States government blacklist for having connections with Mexican drug lords, terror organizations like Hezbollah and rogue states like North Korea and Iran.