Argentine Federal Judge Sebastian Casanello has sent legal requests to Uruguay, United Kingdom, Ireland, Panama and Brazil, and likewise ordered local financial institutions in the country to provide data on the Macri family accounts as part of an ongoing investigation of the Argentine president overseas assets in so called tax havens, which emerged from the latest release of Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Judge Casanello, who suspects a case of malicious omission, thus broadened last week´s information request to Panama and the Bahamas, to other countries which have/had tax haven conditions and Macri accounts reported.
From Panama Casanello asked for information on Faxchase Trading S.A. and Sideco Americana; from Brazil, Fleg Trading Limited, Global Collection Services and Owners Do Brasil Particpacoes, and requested be informed if president Macri figures or figured as shareholder of the above mentioned companies, while from Uruguay the request refers to Gresonia S.A, and in the UK and Ireland, Investment Group.
The magistrate also demanded that the Argentine tax office, AFIP, delivers the sworn statements on High Earnings and Personal Assets Tax, from Franco, Gianfranco and Mariano Macri (father and uncles of the president) in the 2012/2014 period. Likewise, AFIP was asked to report on the Macri family participation in companies and bank accounts, and from the Justice Department Registry, the files on the Socma, Inversid, Yacylec and Sideco companies.
Judge Casanello also asked the Anticorruption Office to supply the sworn statement from the mayor of Lanus, a Buenos Aires neighborhood, Nestor Grindetti, whose name emerged in the last release from the Panama Papers. Grindetti is a close associate of president Macri and was a member of his cabinet when the president was mayor of Buenos Aires City.
To that respect Judge Casanello also requested information from the Buenos Aires City Legislative and Executive, and asked the Anticorruption Office to keep updated on the internal investigations, for alleged links between of President Macri with Fleg Trading Ltd., and Kegemusha companies registered in tax havens.
Last week, Macri said he had nothing to hide in the face of an investigation into his role at two offshore companies that emerged via the Panama Papers first leak.
“Casanello needs to follow all the requirements he considers necessary to determine whether the things I said were true or not,” the Argentine president said at the time.
When the scandal first broke out, Macri said he was not legally obliged to declare his connection with the offshore company as he never had a stake in it. The president said he was simply director of Fleg Trading Ltd, now closed, which was allegedly created by his father to make investments in Brazil.
Judicial sources said Casanello has summoned businessman Orlando Salvestrini, a former director of the Socma construction company tied to the Macris, to reveal details over the alleged Brazilian dealings which, according to the president, never came into effect.
In his latest affidavit, Macri reported assets of 52 million pesos. In April, when the Panama Papers scandal broke out, he announced he would be placing all his assets in a blind trust.