German justice calls for the arrest of Jürgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca
A Cologne court has issued arrest warrants against Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora for tax fraud and criminal association in connection with the case of the Panama Papers, the international money laundering investigation, German media reported.
A spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office in that west German city confirmed on Monday the existence of two international arrest warrants without specifying against whom, but Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and the television channels NDR and WDR reported that they are looking for Mossack and Fonseca.
According to the SZ, the German authorities hope that Mossack, who has a family in Germany, will voluntarily face a judicial process and that, as part of a deal and due to his age (72 years), he could avoid a longer sentence.
The newspaper estimates that he could also escape criminal prosecution in the United States since, if Mossack were tried in Germany, the US authorities would probably not prosecute him for the same crimes again.
For their part, the NDR and WDR channels add that the German authorities have apparently gathered enough evidence to issue arrest warrants against the founders of the Panamanian firm.
But they recalled that the German Justice in principle would have very difficult detention, if there were no voluntary surrender since both Mossack and Fonseca have a Panama passport and that country does not extradite its citizens.
The three German media added that this October a domicile located in the "Land" of Hesse (center) was searched in connection with an investigation into a Mossack relative who lives in Germany and who had interests in a registered company in Panama through the Mossack-Fonseca law firm and that he had not declared to the German tax authorities.
The Panama Papers are the leak of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack-Fonseca to the aforementioned German newspaper and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
These documents revealed the concealment of corporate property, assets, profits, and tax evasion from heads of state and government, world political leaders, politically exposed individuals, and personalities from finance, business, sports, and the arts.
In April 2016, hundreds of media had access to the Mossack-Fonseca database and revealed that personalities from around the world hired their services to create offshore companies and allegedly evade taxes.