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Panama moves to boost transparency amid documents leak

Panama's government is creating an international committee of experts to recommend ways to boost transparency in the Central American country's offshore financial industry.

President Juan Carlos Varela is trying to shore up confidence in his nation's financial sector after the leaking of 11.5 million documents from a prominent Panama-based law firm which helped create shell companies for the world's rich and famous.

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HMRC ready to follow up Panama papers allegations

HMRC said 'the days for hiding money offshore are gone'. Credit: PA

HMRC has said it is ready to follow up allegations of money laundering and tax avoidance among the rich and powerful after a massive leak of confidential data.

British MPs are reported to be caught up in the scandal involving Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The information was passed to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and has been shared through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

HMRC director-general of enforcement and compliance Jennie Grainger said they had approached the ICIJ for access to the material.

She added: "We will closely examine this data and will act on it swiftly and appropriately.

"Our message is clear: there are no safe havens for tax evaders and no-one should be in any doubt that the days of hiding money offshore are gone.

"The dishonest minority, who can most afford it, must pay their legal share of tax, like the honest majority already does."

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