Angola’s ex-petroleum minister, nephew of South Africa’s president, twin sister of Congo president are among 18 names from Africa mentioned in Panama scandal.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - A senior African Union official has urged African countries to investigate their citizens mentioned in the recently-released Panama Papers.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki said in a statement Friday that several countries in the world, including South Africa, Britain and France vowed that any of their citizens mentioned in the files would be investigated by the relevant agencies to ensure they comply with laws on tax evasion.
“Now all countries within and outside Africa must follow suit and begin their own investigations,” Mbeki said, adding that such investigations should not be limited to the leaked documents but should go further to unearth other possible destinations of the proceeds from tax evasion.
The files name 18 African personalities, including: Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Angola’s former petroleum minister for having a share in a $1 million worth investment with a foreign company; Ian Stuart Kirby, former Botswana attorney-general linked to one of dozens of shareholders of seven British Virgin Islands companies; and Abdeslam Bouchouareb, Algerian parliamentarian for holding a Swiss bank account at NBAD Private Bank SA; Congolese politician Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua; Jaynet Desiree Kabila Kyungu, twin sister of Joseph Kabila, Congo president; Jean-Claude N’Da Ametchi, an associate of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo; Alaa Mubarak, the son of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and nephew of South African President Jacob Zuma.
Last year in January, a joint African Union panel report said Africa was losing $50 billion annually to illicit financial flows.
The Panama files containing over 11 million leaked documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca were obtained by Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which shared them with other publications around the world through the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
In statements made to several media outlets since the leaks were published, Mossack Fonseca has denied any wrongdoing.