Mossack and Fonseca held in Brazilian bribery case

Partners of Mossack Fonseca (from left) Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack. Pics/AFP and Wikimedia commons
Partners of Mossack Fonseca (from left) Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack. Pics/AFP and Wikimedia commons

Panama City: The two main partners of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the so-called ‘Panama papers’ scandal, have been arrested. The arrests of Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack came on Thursday hours after the Panamanian authorities accused them of being involved in the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption case in Brazil.

The firm, which specialises in setting up offshore companies, acted as a criminal organisation dedicated to hiding assets and money of dubious origins within the ‘Lava Jato’ (Car Wash) case, according to an investigation, Attorney General Kenia Porcell said. The law firm instructed its “person in charge” in Brazil to “hide documents and eliminate evidence” and to facilitate the transfer of the bribe money to Panama “washed or laundered”, Porcell added. He said the charges against the two were the result of a year-long investigation conducted in collaboration with prosecutors in other countries, including Brazil, Switzerland and the US. The offices of Mossack Fonseca, were raided on Thursday shortly before the two main partners appeared at the Prosecutor's Office.

Meanwhile, Fonseca has accused former President Varela of receiving “donations” during the 2014 election campaign from Brazilian multinational company Odebrecht, involved in a transnational mega-scandal of bribes.

Fonseca Mora also accused the Prosecutor's Office of being arbitrary and of using him as a "scapegoat" to delay the probe.

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