The Panama Papers

Mossack Fonseca has office in Singapore

The exterior of Mossack Fonseca office in Singapore at Keppel Road.
The exterior of Mossack Fonseca office in Singapore at Keppel Road.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the document leak, has an office in Singapore. It shares office space in the Jit Poh Building at 19 Keppel Road with TPS Corporate Services, a firm that helps clients set up and manage companies in different jusrisdictions, both onshore and offshore.

The chairman of Mossack Fonseca's Singapore office is Mr Peter Tay, who is also the founder and executive chairman of TPS Corporate Services. Mr Tay's online profile also indicates that he has been representing Mossack Fonseca in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia since the 1990s.

He did not respond to a Straits Times request for an interview by press time.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has access to the leaked files says that globally, Mossack Fonseca has worked with more than 14,000 banks, law firms, company incorporators and other middlemen and intermediaries to set up companies, foundations and trusts for customers.

ICIJ added that Mossack Fonseca worked with intermediaries in more than 100 countries.

The countries that had the most active intermediaries in terms of the number of offshore company incorporations were Hong Kong (37,675), Switzerland (34,301) and the United Kingdom (32,682). Singapore, where the intermediaries are said to have set up 4,050 offshore companies, was ranked No. 9.

Singapore is also one of the 21 jurisdictions named by ICIJ as a tax haven used by Mossack Fonseca.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement on Tuesday that "the relevant agencies in Singapore are reviewing the information being reported in connection with the so-called Panama Papers and are doing the necessary checks".

"If there is evidence of wrong-doing by any individual or entity in Singapore, we will not hesitate to take firm action," said the spokesmen.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2016, with the headline 'Mossack Fonseca has office in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe