France to Study Pandora Papers, Investigate Citizens’ Involvement

Panama Papers
Panama Papers

France will analyze the Pandora Papers, a dossier detailing the offshore activities of prominent global political figures, to see if French nationals have been involved in fraudulent tax schemes, Olivier Dussopt, a minister delegate for public accounts at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, said Tuesday.

“Together with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, we have issued a directive to the Public Finances General Directorate to analyze all the published materials, prosecute possible culprits, and see if French citizens are involved in these, apparently, large-scale frauds,” Dussopt said at a session of the lower chamber of the French Parliament.

As many as 600 French nationals were listed in the Pandora Papers, according to France’s Le Monde newspaper. They may, however, be tax residents of other countries. For example, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief and former French finance minister, stated that he has been a Moroccan resident since 2013.

On Monday, French Communist Party leader Fabien Roussel suggested that those involved in tax fraud should face real jail time, and proposed to employ 15,000 tax inspectors to control financial crimes.

The Pandora Papers, compiled by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists following a two-year investigation, exposed over 35 current and former global leaders, as well as more than 330 politicians and officials worldwide, who reportedly used tax havens and hid real incomes through offshore companies. The dossier contains over 11.9 million confidential documents.

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