President Rafael Correa said Tuesday that Ecuador will pursue tax evaders “to the last man” using data from the leaked “Panama Papers.” The documents, hacked from a Panamanian law firm that specializes in creating off-shore shell companies, contains thousands of names of clients who want to conceal their financial assets.
“In the past, we have been limited in identifying those who evade our tax laws,” Correa said. “These documents provide the names and schemes used by the rich to hide their money,” he said.
An international consortium of journalists published an overview of their findings from the documents on Sunday, highlighting politicians, including heads of state, who used the services of Panama City law firm Mossack Fonseca. Among Ecuadorian public officials named in the document was Attorney General Galo Chiriboga and former State Bank president Pedro Delgado. Delgando is a cousin of Correa’s.
Correa said he was certain that the names of many wealthy Ecuadorians are contained in the documents. Mossack Fonseca has a branch office in Quito.
“Now, we will make the search in those ten and a half million documents and see what wonders appear,” Correa said. “I have said for years that many of the rich do not pay their lawful share of taxes and we will find out who they are. We have had our suspicions and now those will be confirmed.”