Panama City (AP) – Panama’s government established a committee of independent experts Friday to make recommendations on cleaning up the country’s financial system, after leaks of documents from a Panamanian law firm caused an international uproar over offshore accounts.
President Juan Carlos Varela called for the review after the “Panama Papers” leak involving the Mossack Fonseca law firm suggested rich foreigners were using the accounts to hide their wealth.
Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, right, shakes hands with Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, as Mark Pieth, a professor of criminal law and criminology at the University of Basel, looks on, in Panama City, Friday, April 29, 2016. The government of Panama has established a committee of independent experts to make recommendations on cleaning up the country’s financial system, after leaks of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca caused an international uproar over offshore accounts. The advisory group includes Stiglitz and Pieth. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
The advisory group includes Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, former Panamanian President Nicolas Ardito Barletta and former Panama Canal administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta. The group is to present recommendations to Varela in six months.
Varela said at the committee’s inauguration that “our administration is committed to bullet-proofing Panama” financial services sector “against threats from people and groups who want to use it for illegal activities.”