An attorney spokesman for the law firm of Mossack and Fonseca, the source of the Panama Papers documents, has stated that eight former employees are under investigation, by government prosecutors, in an effort to identify who stole eleven million documents, which name tax cheats and corrupt officials, from its corporate files. The names have not been released to the public.
The Mossack firm continues to assert that hackers, working outside Panama are responsible for the theft of documents, though investigators are focusing upon former employees. The spokesman, who was interviewed by La Estrella, the Panama newspaper known for investigative journalism, admitted that the law firm routinely terminates, and "rotates" staff members, and that all those let go last year are under suspicion.
Many observers in Panama City have reported, for several years, that the minimum wage scale paid to them, and periodic termination ( to keep staff from learning too much about the clients), including of compliance staff, has resulted in dissatisfaction among the firm's employees. There has been no response to allegations that the leaks started a decade ago, initiated by a spurned mistress of firm name partner, Ramon Fonseca, and by a fired compliance officer, also known to have offered and sold information to US law enforcement agencies seeking evidence on money laundering of narcotics profits.
Whether the lawyers at Mossack and Fonseca will now be charged with money laundering, in jurisdictions outside Panama, appears to be the primary issue among observers who have reviewed the documents released.
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