From Iceland — Reykjavík City Council Members Also Implicated In Panama Papers

Reykjavík City Council Members Also Implicated In Panama Papers

Published April 4, 2016

Some members past and present of Reykjavík City Council were also implicated in the massive Panama Papers leak, connecting them to offshore accounts.

As uncovered by Reykjavík Media, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), the Prime Minister is not the only one connected to offshore accounts. Members of Reykjavík city council past and present have also been implicated.

Progressive city councilperson Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir, who has long gone on the record in opposition to Reykjavík City having any connections with offshore accounts, has herself connections to at least two offshore accounts. Both were registered in 2007. One company, 7Callinvest Inc., was registered in Tortola in late November 2007, where she is listed as the sole shareholder. This company was de-registered from the list of available companies in Tortola in 2009. The other company, Ice 1 Corp, is listed as being owned by P-10 ehf., a company where Sveinbjörg is still listed as Chairperson of the Board. None of these companies were named by her in the city councilperson’s registration of vested interests. Sveinbjörg has said that both companies were related to real estate development in Panama, but nothing came of it following the 2008 bank crash in Iceland.

Former Independence Party councilperson Þorbjörg Helga Vigfúsdóttir and her husband were registered with a company called Ravenna Partners in Tortola in 2005 as the sole owners. However, she contends that this company never made any money, and she was de-registered as being an owner before she would have needed to make her connection known to City Council.

Most damning of all though has been the information that has come to light about Independence Party councilperson Júlíus Vífill Ingvason. According to the documents that have come out in the Panama Papers leak, Júlíus established the company Silwood Foundation in Panama in 2014. This company was intended to take care of his account at the bank Julius Bär in Switzerland. None of this was listed with the city as one of his vested interests.

In the email communications uncovered in the leak, special emphasis is placed on making sure Júlíus’ part in the company is kept as hidden as possible. He has further refused to answer questions from reporters on the matter.

Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson expressed sadness at these revelations, RÚV reports.

“It is of course a certain shock for Iceland and for its reputation,” he said. “And it’s bad for the city to be pulled into this case in this way.”

He added that city council will “most definitely” be discussing this matter and what to do about it further.

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