Panama Papers reveal 16,785 Taiwanese clients: Apple Daily

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Panama Papers reveal 16,785 Taiwanese clients

A total of 16,785 Taiwanese clients appear in the leaked Panama Papers, including President-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s brother Tsai Ying-yang, according to Chinese-language Apple Daily report on Tuesday.

Eleven million documents leaked from the secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca show how the company has helped some clients hide their wealth from the authorities, launder money, dodge sanctions, avoid taxes and set up offshore shell companies. The documents had been passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Since the first revelations late on Sunday a number of investigations have been launched by French, Austrian, Dutch and Australian authorities, among others.

The ICIJ has offered search service according to country and region on its official website, and a search of the data has found the name of Tsai Ing-wen’s brother “Tsai Ying-yang” appears in a document, the daily said.

The document reveals that Tsai Ying-yang has set up a company called “KOPPIE LIMITED” since January 3, 2008.

Tsai Ying-yang’s lawyer Lien Yuan-long told the media on Monday night that Tsai Ying-yang was introduced by a foreign bank to a finance-type investment, which involved setting up an offshore company. However, the contract ended after one year because the investment performance was not good, Lien said.

After that the company has not made contact with Tsai Ying-yang to collect management fees, so Tsai Ying-yang’s understanding is that the company was over, he said.

Lien added that he told Tsai Ying-yang, “Legally we should check” to see if the company is still operating, if so, then they should close it as soon as possible.

Tsai Ying-yang’s attitude is that “he has nothing to hide,” Lien said.

According to the daily, many big-name Taiwanese companies also appear in the documents, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE), ASUSTeK Computer Inc, Wei Chuan Corp, Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp, TransAsia Airways, Yulon Motors, Yuen Foong Paper Co Ltd, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, and Executive Yuan’s National Development Fund.

AsusTek spokesperson said the company didn’t have any contact with Mossack Fonseca and wouldn’t want to make any comment; ASE said it declared tax according to local tax regulations every year; TSMC said “no comment,” while Wei Chuan said it had never evaded tax, according to the daily.

Some individuals also appeared to have been mentioned in the documents, including former Ting Hsin International Group executive Wei Ying-chun, International Investment Trust Co general manager Michael Ding, and Taiwan Glass Industry Corp CEO Lin Po-shih, according to the daily.