Macedonia President Denies Offshore Wealth Claim

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov | Photo by: president.gov.mk

Macedonian President Gjorgje Ivanov has denied claims that either he or his family have exploited secretive offshore tax regimes in Panama to conceal their wealth.

His cabinet on Sunday described accusations from the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, as an "attempt through lies and manipulation to portray Ivanov's family as part of a criminal gang". It said the President was willing to see those accusations tested in court.

On Sunday, SDSM spokesperson Petre Shilegov said Ivanov's close family was directly linked to businesses registered in Panama.

Shilegov presented documents from the Macedonian central registry that he said show that Saso Tonevski, the President's brother-in-law, had business relations with the firm LIP Corp Panama City and that LIP Corp was a founder of the Macedonian firm Delfino Travel Balkans.

"Just days ago, when the [so-called "Panama Papers"] scandal about money laundering in Panama began to spread, Delfino Travel ceased to exist and has been deleted from the [Macedonian] central registry. What is Ivanov's family hiding?" Shilegov asked.

Ivanov's cabinet did not deny the existence of the said firm or its links to the President's family, but said that Delfino Travel was inactive and had not been used for any dubious activities.

Ivanov's cabinet called on the SDSM to "publish every transfer of money through that firm and to reveal all who have been involved in any way in that firm, which by the way was established in Skopje and never started trading".

In April, media outlets started publishing leaked documents that revealed how numerous world leaders, politicians and celebrities have exploited the offshore tax regime in Panama to hide their wealth.

The claims made...

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