Published December 02, 2016
In what has to be one of the most ironic twists to come from this Panama Papers scandal, the head of the Chile office of the corruption watchdog group Transparency International has resigned after his name appeared in the data leak.
“Gonzalo Delaveau resigned as president of Transparency Chile, which has been accepted by the board of directors,” the agency said on Twitter.
José Ugaz, chair of the Berlin-based group, said he was deeply troubled by revelations that Delaveau, a lawyer, was linked to five companies domiciled in the Bahamas.
Delaveau is not accused of any wrongdoing, but Ugaz said his continued affiliation with Transparency International is incompatible with the group's aims to register owners of all shell companies to make it harder to hide corruption and hide illicit wealth.
The resignation is just the latest in a series of upheavals resulting from the Panama Papers.
Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who had denied any wrongdoing, is stepping down as the leader of the coalition government after being named in the papers, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson – the country's Fisheries and Agriculture Minister who, according to NPR, stands to replace Gunnlaugsson by virtue of being his deputy in the Progressive Party – told Icelandic broadcaster RUV.
Iceland's president has not yet confirmed that he has accepted the prime minister's resignation. Crisis meetings continued as several hundred protesters gathered outside parliament Tuesday in Reykjavik to protest the offshore accounts set up by Gunnlaugsson and his wife.
Gunnlaugsson said he and his wife paid all their taxes and have done nothing illegal. He also said his financial holdings didn't affect his negotiations with Iceland's creditors during the country's acute financial crisis. Those assertions did little to quell the controversy.
In Argentina, opposition leaders are demanding that President Mauricio Macri more fully explain his position at a Bahamas-based offshore company that lists him in the leaked documents.
Macri has confirmed that a business group owned by his family set up Fleg Trading Ltd. in the Bahamas to do business in Brazil. According to a statement, however, Macri himself holds no shares in Fleg and never received income from it, so he did not declare it in financial statements.
It wasn't immediately clear what the business did. Calls to Macri's office by the Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Graciela Camano, president of the Renewal Front opposition bloc in the lower House of Deputies, says Macri should "use a national broadcast to explain to Argentines his situation."
Macri, the former mayor of Buenos Aires who assumed power in December, is the son of tycoon Francisco Macri, an Italian-born businessman who is one of the richest people in the country.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the massive leak of documents of offshore accounts is evidence that world leaders should do more to crack down on individuals and corporations that try to dodge taxes.
In his first remarks on the so-called Panama Papers, Obama said the leaders have made some progress in shutting down international tax avoidance schemes, but not enough.
He said that too often the tax dodging in enabled by "poorly designed" laws that are easy to exploit. "A lot of it's legal," he said, "but that's exactly the problem."
The Department of Justice has said it is reviewing the documents for evidence of corruption or violations of U.S. law.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.