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Spanish royals implicated in Panama Papers scandal

The Spanish Royal Family are the latest high profile figures to be implicated into the Panama Papers scandal after the leaked documents reveal King Felipe’s Aunt was President of a company registered in Panama.

Infanta Pilar de Borbon, who is the sister of former King Juan Carlos I, presided over the company whilst it was managed by Mossack Fonseca, one of the most controversial and secretive companies in the world which specialises in creating secret tax havens for the rich and powerful.

According to the leaked papers, Pilar de Borbon became president and director of a company called Financiera Front SA in 1974, a month after Juan Carlos, then Prince of Spain, took over as interim head of state due to the declining health of Francisco Franco. The company was dissolved on June 24, 2014, five days after Felipe was proclaimed King of Spain.

Pilar de Borbon has not responded to requests for comments on this matter, and why she felt the need to base the company in Panama, a country with huge tax advantages. Her actions are not illegal, but raise questions about the large scale tax avoidance methods which people in authority have been involved with.

The Panama Papers are a leak of confidential documents which reveal how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

The papers were published after more than eleven million documents were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The information, from an anonymous source, documents how Mossack Fonseca has helped its clients to launder money, as well as dodge sanctions and evade tax.

Mossack Fonseca stress that they have operated beyond reproach for 40 years, and have never been criminally charged with any offence.

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is another high profile figure to have been embroiled into the scandal.

King Salman used an offshore British Virgin Island company to take out mortgages on his luxury London homes. According to the papers, the mortgages added up to the sum of $34 million.

Whilst King Salman’s specific role is not specified in the papers, the mortgages are mentioned to be “in relation to” him and his assets.

Saudi Arabia have not responded to requests for comment made through the respective embassies in the US.

In total, 72 current or former heads of state  including monarchs, presidents & prime ministers, have been accused using offshore tax havens.

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