From Iceland — Presidential Office Denies Knowledge Of Offshore Companies

Presidential Office Denies Knowledge Of Offshore Companies

Published April 26, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Kris Krüg/Creative Commons

An official response from President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s office denies any knowledge of the companies brought to light yesterday.

In response to an inquiry from Kjarninn on the offshore companies owned by the family of the President’s wife, Dorrit Moussaieff, the Office of the President responded that they were unaware of the existence of these companies.

“Neither the President nor Dorrit know anything about this company nor have heard of it before,” the response reads. “Dorrit’s father is deceased, and her mother, who is 86, does not remember any such company.”

The contention raises questions about statements Dorrit made in June 2013, on the occasion of her changing her legal residence from Iceland to the UK the previous December. At that time, she told RÚV that she was moving to the UK because her parents were getting older and she needed to attend to her family’s business more.

As reported, the latest news concerns a British company called Moussaieff Jewelers Limited (MJL), which is Dorrit’s family’s business. According to the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements for MJL in 2006, Lasca Finance Limited (LFL) – a company registered in the British Virgin Islands of which Dorrit’s parents are shareholders – was paid interest payments by MJL from at least 2000 until 2005, which was the last time we saw reported interest. Lasca also appears in the widely-reported Panama Papers leak.

In 2006, LFL all but disappears, and a new company appears in Hong Kong: Moussaieff Limited, of which Dorrit’s mother is the sole director and shareholder, and has been active through at least March 31, 2015. While not defined as a tax shelter by Icelandic law, Hong Kong does rank in second place on the Financial Secrecy Index.

You can download and read the documentation on the matter for yourself below:

2006 MJL Report

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