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Ukraine leader denies offshore impropriety

/ 06:08 PM April 06, 2016
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Poroshenko said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday that an offshore holding company set up for his candy business was a necessary step to put his assets into a blind trust when he became president in 2014.(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on April 6. AP

LONDON—The president of Ukraine has defended himself in the massive leak of records on offshore accounts that has named political officials, business and celebrities from around the world.

Petro Poroshenko said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday that an offshore holding company set up for his candy business was a necessary step to put his assets into a blind trust when he became president in 2014.

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The leaks have raised suspicion that such offshore entities were set up to avoid taxes. Iceland’s prime minister resigned as the scandal deepened on Tuesday.

Poroshenko insisted that his case is different than Iceland’s or Russia’s, and that the company was not set up to minimize taxes.

He is in Japan this week to meet the Japanese prime minister and business leaders.

Panama Papers

India’s top Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, meanwhile, has denied any connection to four shipping companies registered in tax havens following the publication of the names of rich and powerful people linked to the leaks, dubbed the Panama Papers.

He was responding to a report published Monday by The Indian Express newspaper based on the Panama Papers.

Bachhan tweeted an image of his statement late Tuesday: “It is possible that my name has been misused.”

He said he did not know any of the companies he was allegedly linked to and has never been a director for any of them.

He added: “I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through LRS (liberalized remittance scheme) after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in the Indian Express doesn’t even suggest any illegality on my part.”

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TAGS: Amitabh Bachchan, Iceland, offshore accounts, Panama Papers, Petro Poroshenko
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