Singapore, Thailand: ASEAN countries most exposed in Panama Papers, Marcos family on list

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Panama Papers ASEAN countries
A map of Panama Papers data shows the distribution of offshore company clients

Individuals and companies in Singapore and Thailand, followed by the Philippines, set up the most offshore companies among ASEAN countries with the help of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The firm even operates offices in the two former countries, one in 19 Keppel Road in Singapore and another in a posh office tower on Rama IV Road in Bangkok’s Silom district.

Data shows that from Singapore, 4081 companies were registered for 48 clients through Mossack Fonseca in various offshore jurisdictions, and 963 companies for 21 clients from Thailand. The Philippines contributes with 40 companies for 12 clients.

Singapore authorities said they will be undertaking “necessary checks” on the leaked information.

“Singapore takes a serious view on tax evasion and will not tolerate its business and financial center being used to facilitate tax related crimes,” the city state’s Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

“If there is evidence of wrongdoing by any individual or entity in Singapore, we will not hesitate to take firm action,” they added.

So far it is not clear who is behind these offshore companies or what clients are exactly involved from Singapore as data is still being evaluated.

Panama Papers ASEAN
A total of 5,156 offshore companies were set up from ASEAN countries

In Thailand, the Anti-Money Laundering Office’ is making efforts to obtain information regarding the number and identity of Thai individuals and people using Thailand as their residence mentioned in the leaked documents. Reportedly, there are prominent names on the list, including well-known business people, politicians, a former military officer and celebrities.

Mossack Fonseca Thailand
Rare photo of Thailand’s Mossack Fonseca branch, showing Austin Zhang (right), head of Mossack Fonseca Asia, and Steve Wagner (left), Managing Director of Mossack Fonseca Thailand.

As far as it is known, among them are Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Banyong Pongpanich, chairman of Phatra Capital and member of the State Enterprises Policy Commission, and Bannawit Kengrean, former deputy defense permanent secretary. All said they did not know that they were on the list and the mentioning of their names came “as a surprise.”

In the Philippines, it turned out that Imee Marcos, eldest daughter of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Ilocos Norte governor and her three sons – Ferdinand Richard Michael Manotoc, Fernando Martin “Borgy” Manotoc and Matthew Joseph Manotoc – are on the list. Imee is the beneficiary of an offshore entity called Sintra Trust.

The names of the Marcos family on the listed raises new questions about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. The family is said to have amassed at least $5 billion during the 21-year Marcos rule, much of which could still not be recovered by the subsequent governments.

Also on the list is Senator Joseph Victor “JV” G. Ejercito, a son of ousted President Joseph Estrada.

From Cambodia, the most prominent name son the list is Ang Vong Vathana, Minister of Justice. From Malaysia, Mohd Nazifuddin bin Mohd Najib, son of Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been exposed.
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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A map of Panama Papers data shows the distribution of offshore company clients

Individuals and companies in Singapore and Thailand, followed by the Philippines, set up the most offshore companies among ASEAN countries with the help of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The firm even operates offices in the two former countries, one in 19 Keppel Road in Singapore and another in a posh office tower on Rama IV Road in Bangkok’s Silom district.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Panama Papers ASEAN countries
A map of Panama Papers data shows the distribution of offshore company clients

Individuals and companies in Singapore and Thailand, followed by the Philippines, set up the most offshore companies among ASEAN countries with the help of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The firm even operates offices in the two former countries, one in 19 Keppel Road in Singapore and another in a posh office tower on Rama IV Road in Bangkok’s Silom district.

Data shows that from Singapore, 4081 companies were registered for 48 clients through Mossack Fonseca in various offshore jurisdictions, and 963 companies for 21 clients from Thailand. The Philippines contributes with 40 companies for 12 clients.

Singapore authorities said they will be undertaking “necessary checks” on the leaked information.

“Singapore takes a serious view on tax evasion and will not tolerate its business and financial center being used to facilitate tax related crimes,” the city state’s Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

“If there is evidence of wrongdoing by any individual or entity in Singapore, we will not hesitate to take firm action,” they added.

So far it is not clear who is behind these offshore companies or what clients are exactly involved from Singapore as data is still being evaluated.

Panama Papers ASEAN
A total of 5,156 offshore companies were set up from ASEAN countries

In Thailand, the Anti-Money Laundering Office’ is making efforts to obtain information regarding the number and identity of Thai individuals and people using Thailand as their residence mentioned in the leaked documents. Reportedly, there are prominent names on the list, including well-known business people, politicians, a former military officer and celebrities.

Mossack Fonseca Thailand
Rare photo of Thailand’s Mossack Fonseca branch, showing Austin Zhang (right), head of Mossack Fonseca Asia, and Steve Wagner (left), Managing Director of Mossack Fonseca Thailand.

As far as it is known, among them are Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Banyong Pongpanich, chairman of Phatra Capital and member of the State Enterprises Policy Commission, and Bannawit Kengrean, former deputy defense permanent secretary. All said they did not know that they were on the list and the mentioning of their names came “as a surprise.”

In the Philippines, it turned out that Imee Marcos, eldest daughter of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Ilocos Norte governor and her three sons – Ferdinand Richard Michael Manotoc, Fernando Martin “Borgy” Manotoc and Matthew Joseph Manotoc – are on the list. Imee is the beneficiary of an offshore entity called Sintra Trust.

The names of the Marcos family on the listed raises new questions about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. The family is said to have amassed at least $5 billion during the 21-year Marcos rule, much of which could still not be recovered by the subsequent governments.

Also on the list is Senator Joseph Victor “JV” G. Ejercito, a son of ousted President Joseph Estrada.

From Cambodia, the most prominent name son the list is Ang Vong Vathana, Minister of Justice. From Malaysia, Mohd Nazifuddin bin Mohd Najib, son of Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been exposed.
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