Australian PM Turnbull, named in Panama Papers, denies any wrongdoing | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 26, 2017-Wednesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Australian PM Turnbull, named in Panama Papers, denies any wrongdoing

panama papers Updated: May 12, 2016 09:10 IST
Malcolm Turnbull

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media during a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra.(Reuters file photo)

The latest big name engulfed by the Panama Papers storm is that of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been named as a former director of a British Virgin Islands company set up to exploit a Siberian gold prospect. Turnbull, however, has denied any wrongdoing on Thursday.

Turnbull and former New South Wales Premier Neville Wran joined the board of Australian-listed Star Mining NL in 1993. The company hoped to develop a A$20 billion ($14.67 billion)Siberian gold mine called Sukhoi Log, according to the Australian Financial Review, which first reported the story.

Read | Panama Papers: New data shows about 2,000 Indian links

Both Turnbull and Wran were subsequently appointed directors of Star Technology Services, a subsidiary of Star Mining in the British Virgin Islands which had been incorporated by Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm at the centre of the global scandal.

“There is no suggestion of any impropriety whatsoever. There is nothing new there,” Turnbull told reporters.

“The company of which Neville Wran and I were directors was an Australian listed company and had it made any profits - which it did not, regrettably - it certainly would have paid tax in Australia.”

The details are included in documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists known as the Panama Papers but are not part of the publicly searchable database.

Read | Emma Watson had offshore firm for privacy reasons, says representative

Tax havens and transparency have been thrust into the spotlight as governments worldwide launch probes into possible financial wrongdoing after the details of hundreds of thousands of clients’ tax affairs were leaked from Mossack Fonseca.

Turnbull, a former investment banker and technology entrepreneur, is campaigning ahead of a general election on July 2, with his ruling Liberal-National coalition in a virtual tie with the main opposition.

Read more | Panama Papers leak: Trove on shell companies released online

The Panama Papers: All about the biggest leak, people and what they did