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Mauricio Macri was elected as president last year

Panama Papers: Argentina leader Mauricio Macri faces probe

WT24 Desk

A federal prosecutor in Argentina has opened an investigation into the financial dealings of President Mauricio Macri, BBC reports.  Mr Macri was among the names mentioned in the Panama Papers, files leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Mr Macri was listed as director of an offshore company in the Bahamas. But Mr Macri’s office said that he had no shares in the company and that he had never received any income from it.

Argentina’s national tax authority and anti-corruption office will be asked to provide information to the inquiry. Prosecutor Federico Delgado said he wanted to determine if Mr Macri had “omitted, with malicious intent” mentioning his reported role in the Bahamas-registered offshore company Fleg Trading.

La Nacion, one of the newspapers examining some of the leaked documents, reported that Mr Macri was listed as a director of Fleg Trading from 1998 until 2009.   Mr Macri did not list the company in his 2007 financial declaration, when he became mayor of Buenos Aires, or in his 2015 declaration when he became president.

On Tuesday, Mr Macri’s office confirmed that a business group owned by the president’s family had set up an offshore company through the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal.

But his office argued that because he had never received any income from it there had been no reason to mention it in the financial declarations. Mr Macri himself has denied any wrongdoing.

He campaigned on a promise to combat corruption.

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