Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Reports talk of second Panama company tied to president
While President Mauricio Macri claimed yesterday that his connection to an offshore company was entirely legal after he was linked to the Panama Papers documents leak, he and the national government neglected to mention a second offshore company he is associated with.
The Perfil newspaper reported yesterday that Macri was directly involved with Kagemusha SA, an offshore firm based in Panama but unaffiliated with the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, where 11.5 million legal documents involved in the historic leak following work by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) come from.
According to Open data portals OpenCorporates.com and Panadata.net, Macri is the registered director of the Kagemusha company, named after a 1980 film directed by legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.
The firm was established in 1981 and — like the Fleg Trading Ltd. company cited in the Panama Papers investigation — also included Macri’s wealthy father Franco and his brother Mariano. First reports of Macri’s ties to this particular firm were published in May, 2013, by journalist Andrés Ballesteros.
While Kagemusha SA did not appear in the Panama Papers, it appears as a listed company in the Public Registry of Panama, which states that the offshore is still active at present.
During an interview yesterday, Macri denied any illegal activity regarding his involvement in Fleg Trading Ltd., which ceased operating in 2009, but made no reference to Kagemusha SA, despite its apparent continued existence as a functioning offshore entity.
One key figure in the company was Eloy Benedetti, a Panamanian lawyer who founded the Benedetti & Benedetti law firm and died in 2000. Involved closely in Kagemusha SA according to Perfil, Benedetti was an “essential figure in 5,677 different companies, of which 5,635 are based in Panama.”
According to Perfil, the government failed to address questions regarding Kagemusha SA and Macri’s affiliation to the company.
Late last night, media reports said the Pink House had confirmed Macri’s ties to the company but that government sources quickly added that the president was no longer involved with the firm.
Herald with online media