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Panama Papers indicate spies used Mossack Fonseca to 'conceal' activities

Secret agents from several countries, including intermediaries of the CIA, reportedly used the services of Mossack Fonseca law firm to hide their schemes. The claims are the latest in the Panama Papers leak.

German newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported on Tuesday that "secret agents and their informants have made wide use of the company's services" and opened shell companies to conceal their activities wrote the newspaper. "Among them are close intermediaries of the CIA," the newspaper reported.

Data breach

The Munich-based newspaper obtained a huge stash of 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca and shared them with more than 100 media groups through the International Consortium.

The massive data breach implicated tax dodgers from Reykjavik to Riyadh. On Tuesday, the "Süddeutsche" reported that Mossack Fonseca clients also included "several players" in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, which saw senior US officials facilitate secret arms sales to Iran in a bid to secure the release of American hostages and fund Nicaragua's Contra rebels.

The Panama Papers also reveal that "current or former high-ranking officials of the secret services of at least three countries... Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Rwanda" are listed amongst the company's clients, the paper said.

Among them was Sheikh Kamal Adham, the former Saudi intelligence chief who died in 1999. Adham "spent the 1970s as one of the CIA's key intermediaries" in the Middle East, the daily said.

Political leaders iplicated

The huge leak, which hit headlines on April 3, shed light on how the world's rich and powerful have used offshore companies to stash their assets. As a result, Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned and pressure has mounted on a slew of other leaders around the world, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, who revealed that he had inherited an offshore fund, set up by his father.

ksb/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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