Latest Panama Papers investigation reveals Bolivia’s offshore connections

By Blogger (Culled from ICIJ)

A new Panama Papers investigation has exposed connections between Bolivia and 127 offshore companies mainly registered in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, a newslttee from the international consortium of journalists (ICIJ) says. 
The investigation report that led to this grounbreaking findings was led by journalists Nelfi Fernández, from El Deber in Santa Cruz, and Fabiola Chambi, from Los Tiempos in Cochabamba. They were supported by another ICIJ partnerConnectas.
ICIJ Editors translated the published report of the investigation into English in an abridged form. 
The revelations involve Bolivian businessmen and politicians who went to Mossack Fonseca to create offshore companies. The reports include new links to business operations as well as former corruption scandals in the country.
This is the first time ICIJ has worked with a Bolivian partner on an investigation into the offshore world, after adding a team of local journalists to the Panama Papers project in September last year.
The investigation was led by journalists Nelfi Fernández and Fabiola Chambi from the newspapers El Deber in Santa Cruz and Los Tiempos in Cochabamba. They were supported by another ICIJ partner Connectas.
The one-year long investigation shows how the use of offshore companies increased after Bolivia's president Evo Morales was first elected in December 2005. Of the 127 offshore Bolivian related companies, 93 percent were registered between 2006 and 2015
It also reveals the use of a Panamanian company by American businessman Jacob Ostreicher to do business in Bolivia.
The documents also further expose Ostreicher's relationship with a Colombian woman who used to work for him – Claudia Liliana Rodriguez.
Previously, Ostreicher accused Rodriguez of fraud when he was detained as part of a money laundering investigation in 2011.
Rodriguez later went to jail and Ostericher escaped Bolivia, thanks to the help of American actor Sean Penn. Several officials went to prison for extortion charges in relation to this case.


The stories published on Sunday also reveal more details about three offshore companies connected to the purchase of shares involving one of Cochabamba's biggest electricity companies.
The $17 million operation has been under scrutiny by the congress commission that was investigating the Panama Papers, after ICIJ published the Offshore Leaks database that included a company that mediated the purchase operation.
The investigation also reveals that the Bolivian Consulate in Panama authenticated documents linked to 57 offshore companies between 2007 and 2015.
In May 2016 Bolivian Congress announced an investigation of the Bolivians connected to the Panama Papers. The special commission created to investigate the Panama Papers finished its work in September 2017 and said it was going to hand in the result of its analysis to Congress. 
Kareem's Pick could recall that when the Panama papers report were released in 2016 names of some prominent Nigerian politicians and business figures were mentioned. A Nigerian foremost invvestigative online medium #PREMIUM IMES waa among the news media involved in the #Panamapaper project. The Nigeria neespaper has since been publishing exclusive reports on the shady deals and secret offshore interests of many Nigerian companies and government officials. 


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