Revisiting the Panama Papers – a financial crime watershed

The International Fraud Film Festival recently held saw the New Zealand premiere of director Alex Winter’s new documentary film, The Panama Papers. Gary joined the ANZ Bank’s head of financial crime, and Radio NZ’s chief business editor, to discuss and highlight the themes on a panel after the premiere showing.

When a treasure trove of corporate documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca was published by the ICIJ network of journalists in April 2016, the lid was blown off the offshore secrecy industry – and the shady role sometimes played by lawyers and gatekeepers. Internationally, heads of government rolled, regulators and tax authorities licked lips, and ordinary people were aghast at the double standards/systems available to the truly wealthy to hide their assets.

Closer to home in New Zealand, the John Shewan Inquiry into foreign tax trust led directly to the acceleration of phase 2 AML coverage for lawyers and other professionals, and also to a number of other tax disclosure reforms.

Having worked on some of the local investigations and issues that flowed and swirled from overseas regulatory inquiries, Gary was ideally placed to also join Australian lawyer Robert Wyld in running two other presentations in November for the Auckland District Law Society and for ACAMS Australasia.

Every financial crime fighter should have a copy of that classic shell company playbook, The Panama Papers, in their library!

Revisiting the Panama Papers – a financial crime watershed