Europe

Anti-corruption watchdog seeks EU help after Bahamas leaks

  • FILE - In this Monday, June 30, 2014 file photo, the then European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes addresses the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Kroes was one of the most high-profile names that emerged in a cache of documents of the Bahama's corporate registry leaked Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016  by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media partners. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, June 30, 2014 file photo, the then European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes addresses the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Kroes was one of the most high-profile names that emerged in a cache of documents of the Bahama's corporate registry leaked Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media partners. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gestures during a plenary session of European Economic and Social Committee at the EU Charlemagne building in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gestures during a plenary session of European Economic and Social Committee at the EU Charlemagne building in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a plenary session of European Economic and Social Committee at the EU Charlemagne building in Brussels Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a plenary session of European Economic and Social Committee at the EU Charlemagne building in Brussels Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International is urging the European Union to take the lead in efforts to expose those who represent, or profit, from businesses with secretive links to the world's biggest tax havens.

Transparency International's call comes in the wake of Wednesday's leaking of documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that gave the names of directors and owners of more than 175,000 Bahamian companies, trusts and foundations. Prime ministers, princes and convicted felons were all on the list.

Neelie Kroes, who used to lead the European Commission's anti-trust unit, was revealed as director of one company, Mint Holdings. She had not declared her role when she took the job.

Transparency's EU director Carl Dolan said Kroes's links "would have remained secret were it not for a leak."