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    A private security guard stands outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm is based, in Panama City, on April 5, 2016

    Norway Urges 'Panama Papers' Tax Dodgers to Come Forward

    © AFP 2019 / RODRIGO ARANGUA
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    A database of some 360,000 offshore accounts, published y the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has links to 97 Norwegian legal entities and citizens, according to local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Norway’s financial crime investigators have called on the country's citizens to confess their tax crimes in light of the Panama papers disclosures or face harsher penalties, local media reported Tuesday.

    A database of some 360,000 offshore accounts was published on Monday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). It has links to 97 Norwegian legal entities and citizens.

    Norway’s authority in charge of probing and punishing economic crimes, OKOKRIM, said that while having offshore accounts was not a crime, tax avoidance was both a fiscal and criminal offense that bore tough penalties, according to the Aftenposten daily.

    "We’ve set up a hotline that can be used by those who want to put the cards on the table and provide data on their assets abroad that have not been reported to the Norwegian tax authorities," OKOKRIM chief Trond Eirik Schea told the newspaper.

    He said tax dodgers would have their penalties reduced by a third if they chose to come forward, rather than waiting for the tax authorities to come for them.

    The papers at the heart of the scandal were allegedly leaked from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and first reported about in March. The papers are believed to have exposed the involvement of the world's wealthy, including a number of former and current leaders, in multibillion offshore schemes. Mossack Fonseca has refused to confirm the authenticity of the leaked papers.

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    #PanamaPapers: Biggest Ever Offshore Leaks (94)

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    Panama Papers, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Norway
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