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The “Panama Papers” – an opportunity to expose corruption and organised crime

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14034 | 20 April 2016

Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Samvel FARMANYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Xavier GARCÍA ALBIOL, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Naira KARAPETYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Pierre-Yves LE BORGN', France, SOC ; Ms Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Meritxell MATEU, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Miroslav NENUTIL, Czech Republic, SOC ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Nikolaus SCHERAK, Austria, ALDE ; Mr Mher SHAHGELDYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrej ŠIRCELJ, Slovenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Lorella STEFANELLI, San Marino, EPP/CD ; Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI, Georgia, ALDE ; Mr Konstantinos TZAVARAS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Evangelos VENIZELOS, Greece, SOC ; Mr Sergiy VLASENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Morten WOLD, Norway, EC ; Mr Leonid YEMETS, Ukraine, EPP/CD

The release of the “Panama Papers” implicating, among others, current and former world leaders –opens up access to a huge amount of information pertaining to off-shore hidden criminal activities. The Parliamentary Assembly believes this leak of information is in the public interest and conforms to its guiding principles’ on whistleblowing.

This information must be acted upon in Council of Europe member States without delay in order to:

  • expose cases of corruption, organised crime and money laundering and bring to justice all those who have broken the law;
  • implement legal reforms to end the abuse of offshore tax havens, in line with Assembly Resolution 1881 (2012), in order to prevent harmful tax practices depriving many States of needed revenues and to prevent intransparent offshore corporate structures from being used for money laundering purposes by organised criminals and corrupt officials.

The amount of information available will require a huge concerted effort. National authorities, NGOs and the media should all be encouraged to follow up on the information disclosed, which should be made widely accessible, ideally on the internet in searchable form.

The Assembly should analyse the “Panama Papers” from a legal perspective and develop proposals for legislative action both at the national and at the international level, in particular in the fields of substantive criminal law (money-laundering, fraud, corruption and tax evasion), criminal procedure, including evidentiary rules, and the promotion of international co-operation in this respect.