Venezuela issues freeze order on bank accounts of people tied to Panama Papers scandal
Apr 13, 2016 12:36 AM EDT
An order from Venezuela's chief prosecutor is having banks freeze the accounts of people tied to the Panama Papers scandal. The Venezuelan government has initiated a probe on a list of people involved in secret offshore bank accounts and shell companies following the leaks.
Public prosecutor Luisa Ortega announced Monday that the prosecutors might issue warrants of arrest to people who were mentioned in the Panama Papers leak.
According to the New York Times, Venezuelans who appeared in the Panama Papers include a former top ranking officer, former state oil company official and a security personnel who worked at the presidential palace during President Hugo Chavez's term.
Out of 11.5 million leaked documents, Venezuela appears in 241,000 of them. Unlike other countries wherein massive public uproar has forced officials out of office or where there is a scramble for investigations, the Panama Papers leak has dealt a minimal effect on Venezuela's public consciousness.
Fox News reported that the country is already struggling with severe economic crisis and worsening political tension that Venezuelans have developed less faith in the government than any other nation in the South American region.
In other countries, authorities have also set up investigations to look into the accountability of the names mentioned in the Panama Papers scandal. According to the Boston Herald, Hungary's Prime Minister Vikto Orban has ordered the police, tax authorities and prosecutors to be involved in the process.
The release of the highly controversial Panama Papers, which contain documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, has put many world leaders and famous personalities in the hot seat for allegedly putting up offshore bank accounts or companies to avoid pay tax obligations and other liabilities.
Among the personalities tied to the scandal are Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, Ukraine's Preisdnet Petro Poroshenko, Syria's President Bashar Assad, British Prime Minister David Cameron and football superstar Lionel Messi.