The Latest: Russian media keep mum on offshore scandal

The Latest on the publication by a coalition of media outlets of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Russian media are keeping mum about the $2 billion found in offshore accounts linked to close friends of President Vladimir Putin.

An investigation published by an international coalition of more than 100 media outlets on Sunday details how politicians use banks, law firms and offshore shell companies to hide their assets. Putin's close friends including a cellist from St. Petersburg were shown to be engaged in a complex offshore scheme.

Following a leak from a Panamanian law firm, authorities in other countries said they would investigate the individuals mentioned for possible tax evasion.

In Russia, where the investigation was published by independent Novaya Gazeta, the so-called Panama Papers scandal faced an effective coverage ban. Russian television on Monday morning made no mention of the Panama scandal.


8:45 a.m.

Japan's biggest security company, Secom Co., said Monday that it had disclosed to tax authorities all necessary information about the management of assets of its founders by a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, at the center of an investigative report on offshore financial dealings.

Secom Co. said in a statement that it understood all services provided by Mossack Fonseca to Secom and to its director Makoto Iida and its late former director Juichi Toda were legal.

The Kyodo News Service is part of a media consortium that has published details of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous. It reported that Iida and Toda, who died in 2014, used offshore companies to manage their assets.

Separately, the National Tax Agency said it does not comment on individual cases.


8:20 a.m.

The Australian Taxation Office says it is investigating more than 800 wealthy Australians for possible tax evasion linked to their dealings with a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which is one of the world's biggest creators of shell companies.

The investigation comes a day after the release by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalism of details of a cache of 11.5 million records detailing offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.

Ramon Fonseca, a co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, confirmed to Panama's Channel 2 television network that the papers were authentic and had been illegally obtained through hacking.

The Australian Tax Office said in a statement that it had linked 120 out of 800 individual Australian taxpayers it found in the data to an unnamed associate offshore services provider in Hong Kong.