PANAMA PAPERS RE­VEAL SAINT LU­CIA LINK

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

The Panama Papers, which have been mak­ing in­ter­na­tional head­lines, have re­vealed a Saint Lu­cia link. Ac­cord­ing to the re­ports, orig­i­nal doc­u­ments show that Lord Glen­con­ner, who owned land here par­tic­u­larly in Soufriere, con­trolled the off­shore com­pany Beau Es­tates, in which he held his as­sets.

It is re­ported that Beau Es­tates was set up in Panama in 1988 be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to the BVI.

Glen­con­ner, a close friend of Princess Mar­garet, died in 2010 leav­ing his shares in Beau Es­tates to his manser­vant, Saint Lu­cian Win­ston Kent Adonai.

Adonai is re­ported to have in­her­ited a for­tune es­ti­mated at some thirty mil­lion pounds ster­ling although Glen­con­ner’s will has been chal­lenged by fam­ily mem­bers in the courts.

The Panama Papers are a leaked set of con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments pro­vid­ing de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about more than two hun­dred thou­sand off­shore com­pa­nies.

The com­pa­nies were listed by the Pana­ma­nian cor­po­rate ser­vice provider Mos­sack Fonesca, which pro­vided the iden­ti­ties of share­hold­ers and di­rec­tors of the com­pa­nies. The doc­u­ments pur­port to show how wealthy in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing pub­lic of­fi­cials, hide their money from pub­lic scru­tiny.

There have been sug­ges­tions that the com­pa­nies may have been used for money laun­der­ing.

Sev­eral coun­tries are in­ves­ti­gat­ing pos­si­ble fi­nan­cial crimes by the rich and pow­er­ful fol­low­ing the Mos­sack Fon­seca leak.

The mass leak re­vealed the ex­tent to which Mos­sack Fon­seca ap­peared to help some clients evade tax and avoid sanc­tions, although the firm has de­nied it has done any­thing wrong and says the in­for­ma­tion is be­ing pre­sented out of con­text.

How­ever, it is re­ported that there is noth­ing to sug­gest that Lord Glen­con­ner shel­tered, or sought to shel­ter, money or as­sets off­shore to avoid tax or for any un­law­ful pur­pose.

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