The Naughty Step: Politicians & Celebs Implicated In Leak - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Naughty Step: Politicians & Celebs Implicated In Leak

Published April 7, 2016

While (now former) Prime Minister Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson has been the focus of the Panama Papers furore, he’s joined on the naughty step by a motley crew of politicians and celebrities. There are more names still to be revealed, no doubt, but the gang so far includes the following…

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David Cameron
The moon-faced UK PM and noted pig enthusiast David Cameron was one of the top names flagged in the leak. After initially trying to fob off the media by saying his tax affairs were a “private matter,” a spokesperson for Cameron now says he has “no offshore trusts or funds” that the Prime Minister or his immediate family would benefit from “in future.” Not so much info about whether they benefitted in the immediate past… yet.

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Vladimir Putin
It appears that Russia’s ice-cold action-man oligarch (sorry, I mean prez) Vladimir Putin may have taken some time out from hating gay people, oppressing feminists and prancing around half-naked in the forest to stash some cash over in Panama. $2b is the mooted figure. What a naughty, naughty Putin.

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Jackie Chan
Film star, chop-socky expert and running-up-walls pioneer Jackie Chan was also outed in the leak. So far, as in his film career, no damaging blows have been landed—that only happens if it comes out that the shell company was used to evade taxes. But there’s probably no prison that could hold Jackie anyway.

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Lionel Messi
No such luck for diminutive goal machine Lionel Messi, whose silky skills appear to be confined to the football field as his finances are, by all accounts… messy. As well as being under investigation for tax irregularities, Lionel allegedly owned a 50% stake in a shell corporation called Mega Star Enterprises, the leak revealed. The player calls the claims “false and slanderous.” Yellow card, Lionel—one more and you’re off, son.

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Júlíus Vífill Invarsson
He might not quite be as big a celebrity as Lionel, but this conservative Independence Party councilman has resigned from Reykjavík’s City Hall over the leak, which let a big yowling cat out of his bag of undeclared offshore interests.

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Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir
This Reykjavík councilwoman has made it onto protest posters all over town, but has so far managed to avoid the axe after the leak revealed links to two offshore companies. Currently on maternity leave, her return has been delayed until the results of an internal audit of her finances come in. In the meantime, there’s lots of time to catch up on ‘House of Cards’ for Sveinbjörg.

New names are still coming from the Panama Papers leaks, with Finnur Ingólfsson, a former minister for the Progressive party and a player in Icelandic finance, Eggert Skúlason, editor of DV.is, and businessman Loftur Jóhannesson in the latest batch.

Read more of our coverage of the leaks here.

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