Panama Papers: Head of anti-corruption watchdog in Chile resigns

SANTIAGO (AFP) - The head of one of Chile's leading anti-corruption watchdogs has resigned after his name appeared in the so-called Panama Papers, a massive leak of secret offshore financial dealings.

Gonzalo Delaveau, the president of Transparent Chile - the local branch of anti-graft group Transparency International - submitted his resignation on Monday after he was named as a director or representative of at least five companies registered in the Bahamas.

The information emerged in the leak of millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that has put a host of world leaders, celebrities and other prominent figures in the hot seat over their secret financial dealings.

Delaveau, a lawyer who was acting as interim head of Transparent Chile, had been due to step down in a week.

"Given that I have one week remaining, given that I can't even continue as director, the damage that has been done to the institution, I believe it's best to step aside," he told CNN Chile.

Besides his role at Transparent Chile, Delaveau is also a director at Andes Copper, a Canadian mining company.

The offshore firms linked to Delaveau are among some 200 suspected shell companies tied to Chileans including prominent executives, sports stars and a former finance minister, according to investigative journalism group CIPER.

The group is one of the more than 100 media organisations worldwide wading through the trove of 11.5 million leaked documents along with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.